A Top Problem Right Now: Prescription Drugs on the Black Market

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doctor handing over prescription

With the opioid epidemic, doctors all over the country are limiting the number of refills patients can have, and some patients are being denied certain medications altogether. According to NBC News, many people are using Facebook to find and obtain prescription drugs they can’t otherwise get at the doctor’s. Through Facebook groups, people can request to join and then will swap certain drugs that are needed through private messaging. One woman stated, “If it weren’t for the online diabetes community I would be dead.”

The dangers of sharing prescription drugs, however, are that people will not know if certain drugs have been stored incorrectly, are expired, or are contaminated. Yet many people are still risking their lives in pursuit of obtaining these prescription drugs. Drug makers and insurers are recommending that people first speak with their physician before taking unknown medication, and to only take what was prescribed to them. This easily becomes a problem, however, when the medication a person needs is denied access to them.

Drug sharing isn’t just a U.S. problem, however. BBC News notes that tens of millions of prescription drugs have been smuggled into the UK, and officials are working to fix this issue. As one official stated on the website, “Tough enforcement is a fundamental part of the strategy and we are taking coordinated action to tackle illegal drug use alongside other criminal activity”. Overall, it seems there is a huge amount of criminal profit that is being made on selling prescription drugs through the black market. As the U.S. and other parts of the world are tackling the opioid epidemic, these drugs seem to be escaping through other avenues and we will have to see where this takes our country.

If you are struggling with opioid addiction, make the decision to seek help today. Treatment may involve naloxone, an opioid antagonist that helps to reverse an opioid overdose. It’s never too late, and treatment is available. There are many people who care about your health and recovery; you are not alone.

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