According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the United States spends a total of $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare for all kinds of substance abuse. The opioid epidemic has sparked a national debate on prescription abuse; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have outlined the dangers of prescription medication overdose and how the U.S has seen a major increase of morbidity rates related to prescription abuse. If you’ve been prescribed medication, it’s important to follow the directions exactly as they say; taking more than or for longer than recommended by your doctor could yield dangerous health consequences.
The National Safety Council reports 60 people as dying from opioid prescriptions each day, equating to approximately 22,000 people each year. Furthermore, 70% of people who abuse prescriptions have reported obtaining them from friends or relatives – making you a key source for those close to you to abuse medication. Prescription drugs are becoming abused more than any other drug – what is fueling this epidemic? A variety of misconceptions have led more and more people to abuse prescription drugs, including beliefs that:
- Medications can be used for a variety of purposes
- The only sure way to treat a condition is through medicine rather than holistic practices
- If they are recommended a prescription drug by their doctor or through significant marketing efforts from pharmaceutical companies, they should take it
- Uncomfortable pain symptoms should be warded off with medicine right away
- If medications are available, this means they should be utilizing them
While these are only a few common beliefs, they have sparked an increase in written prescriptions. Many prescription medications, especially opioids, create a sense of well-being and pleasure because they activate the opioid receptors in the brain’s reward center. As the body comes to tolerate the amount of medication being taken, the individual only feels that euphoric feeling if they up their dose of the drug. This is process is what puts people in danger.
By understanding how prescription medications can be dangerous, perhaps you can take extra precaution to ensure you and your loved ones are not abusing them.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.