Drug Classes Could Curb Pain Killer Abuse Epidemic

by Mike Miller April 21, 2012

Just how bad is America’s drug problem right now? I hope prescription pain medication is not the only indicator, because a recent report showed that use and abuse of prescription pain killers has increased an astounding 200% in the past 20 years!

Painkiller abuse in the United States has exploded along with skyrocketing prescriptions and sales according to the Courier General. Even doctors and dentists just trying to do the right thing by their patients are being victimized and fueling the epidemic.

Even well-meaning doctors and dentists are fueling the epidemic of prescription drug abuse by prescribing narcotics too often and for too long, officials said.

Recent statistics show that prescriptions for opiate-based painkillers dispensed by retail pharmacies rose from 76 million in 1991 to 219 million in 2011.

Has life gotten that much more difficult over the years that such strong pain medication is required by so many? Of course the answer to that question is a resounding no!

One of the hardest-hit states is Kentucky which experienced more than 1,000 deaths last year attributed to prescription-drug overdoses — more deaths than in traffic accidents.

Dentists and emergency medicine physicians were the chief prescribers of painkillers to patients 5 to 29 years old, and that high prescribers should consider alternatives, particularly for this vulnerable group. Really, do 5-year-olds need such heavy medication?

She also said education on pain management is sorely lacking in medical schools, which offer an average of seven hours, compared with 75 hours in U.S. veterinary schools.

Crazy Stat of the Month

In 2010, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month.

That is crazy. What do you think? Is it that it is a buzz people can hide? Will more 8 hour drug awareness classes and 15 hour drug education classes help curb this trend? I would like to hear what you think.

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