Currently in America, abuse of prescription drugs is at a level of epidemic proportions, men, women and adolescents from all walks of life are abusing them. Many do it in secret, refusing to admit they have a problem as being prescribed these drugs in the first place makes them feel as though they have a right to take them.
The problem with this is that the pills are often over prescribed, you can get given them for moderate pain or even just visiting the dentist and most of the time background checks to make sure the drug is suitable are not being made. There are some people who are at a much higher risk of developing an addiction of any kind and many physicians are actually putting them at more risk by prescribing addictive drugs instead of milder ones which do not have a risk of addiction. Patients who suffer with depression or other mental health problems as well as those who have had an addiction in the past or come from a family who have abused drugs or alcohol, are at a much more increased rate of developing an addiction but many physicians, particularly dentists, or emergency room staff, lack the time and resources to perform a full family history check before they prescribe anything.
Duping The Doctor
Once an addiction has begun an addict will want to keep their supply coming so will frequently return to the doctor with other health problems, real or in some cases faked, to try and get more drugs on prescription. In the same way they avoid doing the proper background checks, many physicians will miss the signs of addiction and carry on prescribing the drugs with no thought to what might really be going on.
Oxycodone or Oxycontin is an opiate, narcotic which is prescribed for moderate to severe pain, it is one of the most highly addictive substances there is as it is derived from the same ingredient Heroin comes from. It is also one of the most over prescribed drugs in America. In fact most of the very addictive pain medications contain the same ingredients.
What Makes Them Addictive?
Any pain medication that contains narcotics works by blocking the pain receptors in the brain, in doing this it creates a feeling of well-being and relaxation. When the drug wears off not only does the pain return but withdrawal effects come in such as headaches, pains and nausea so users will take another one just to avoid having to deal with the withdrawal and the cycle of addiction begins. The more of the drug you take the more you become tolerant to it so will need to take larger amounts to get the same effect.
Until better background checks can be made, or a new drug which is much less addictive whilst still being just as effective, is released, the problem of prescription painkiller addiction is not going to disappear and at the rate things are going the problem is going to spiral out of control.