Imagine be more aware of. “The biggest drug

Imagine having a misused prescription drug taking lifestyle.  The pharmaceuticals that were supposed to help people who are diagnosed with health conditions but instead used for personal gain and enjoyment. Medications such as opioids, xanax, adderall, percocet, and etc.  It was originally fun and games taking it for parties or a way to cool off, but then one creates a need for it and then comes a tolerance.  Then, an addiction comes along and consumes the wellbeing of someone’s life. This leads to money constantly going down the drain, the mind starting to deteriorate, tension with families and friends rise, and then off to the streets the addict goes.  This isn’t some rare phenomena, it’s a story that’s happening on a regular basis to american citizens.  Being addicted to prescription drugs is a problem that needs to be diminished here in America.This is a problem that the American people should be more aware of. “The biggest drug problem in America isn’t meth, heroin, cocaine or some other mysterious substance sold on a street corner. It’s prescription drugs,” says Tim Carden, agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Roanoke.  About 12 million Americans over the age of 12 used painkillers without prescriptions in 2010. Last year, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses, it leads the accidental death toll here in america.  To give a better picture, this number is 1.5 times greater than the number killed in car crashes. Right now, America is the top leading country with a prescription drug abuse. The problem is constantly getting worse, with more people getting addicted to it on a daily basis, tripled than the amount accounted for from 1997.  It’s a major problem to the american people’s health, and it needs to be combated through stricter policies and more accessible programs, which could lead to no more lives being succumbed to the fate of an addict. The main component of this problem has to be the distribution of prescription drugs from very accessible sources. It is reported that 55% of misused prescription drug distributions come from friends and families that would offer to give to the abuser for free.  The cause of this is because in many households, parent, grandparents, and friends, it is most likely that there will be prescription painkillers such as opioids in their medicine cabinets.  Since people aren’t willing to throw them away,  they would rather let their friends/relatives have them.  However, the addicts of misused prescription drugs aren’t necessarily coming from that type of source.  What the addicts are really coming from are the self-medicated people that constantly ask their doctors to supply them with prescription drugs.  This source only takes up around the other half of the distribution of misused prescription drugs.  The users going to doctors get prescribed drugs so they can take away the feeling of being distressed and disconnected from life.  More and more people are finding out about this method which leads to those people to turn to drugs to cope with their psychological pain.   Constantly abusing misused prescription drugs will eventually create an addict, which would proceed with the individual ruining his/her life and health.  Research has shown that addiction is a brain disorder, and compulsive substance abuse is one of its characteristics. Each drug produces a different type of effect for the user. Some of them are stimulants, which produce a sense of heightened awareness and more energy, while others make the user feel relaxed and sleepy.  A drug abuser’s health will eventually take a toll. Health effects can range from changes in appetite, wakefulness, heart rate, blood pressure, and/or mood to heart attack, stroke, psychosis, overdose, and even death.   One may argue that the pharmacies are responsible for influencing addiction. The point is, pharmacists are responsible for many things in order to improve patients’ health. As the last and most trusted link in a chain of healthcare professionals, pharmacists are the ones who ultimately determine if, when, and how a patient receives his or her medicinal care. Thus, regarding the issue of prescription drug abuse, it’s clear that we hold more influence and potential than most laypeople recognize. Even if a case of prescription misuse is caused by physician corruption, patient dishonesty, or an accident of ignorance, pharmacists are responsible for making things right.On the other hand, one may also place the victims at fault for their own misbehavior and inability to practice self-control  The answer to that is no. Though you chose to first experiment with a drug or alcohol or experiment multiple times, you goal likely was not physical and psychological addiction. In fact, some people who are addicted prescription painkillers take a drug repeatedly because a doctor told them to, having no idea that prescription painkiller addiction would be the inevitable result. The problem with drug addiction is that it does not follow a specific, unalterable pattern with every person who uses a given drug. Even if a handful of people were to use the same drug in the same amount under the same circumstances for the same length of time, the development of physical and psychological addiction will be different for each person. Some may indulge as much as they like without developing an addiction at all while at the other end of the spectrum, others will show signs of addiction almost immediately. The only solution for people to treat their prescription drug addiction would to go to a rehab center for treatment, but there are numerous problems associated with these centers. Lanzone Morgan, an attorney, argues about how drug rehab centers aren’t helpful to the addicts. He argues this at length on his own website discussing the problem. He presents how these centers expose their patients to risks that can lead to further substance abuse.  Further, Morgan states there is no accountability for facilities and programs that do not provide treatment that is consistent with medical standards and proven treatment practices.  Another factor, is that most of the time, untrained staff are hired to help these addicts. Without the knowledge needed, they can suggest inadequate treatment. Morgan brings a point that due to the incredibly high costs of these programs, an average patients and families can only afford one month.    According the to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Research shows that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use.” Only 42.1 percent of people who enter rehab complete the process.  Few rehab programs provide refunds when a patient does not complete the program or if the patient relapses after completion of the program. Additionally, Morgan argues, “Centers are very adept at blaming failure on the patient and convincing the patient that he or she must return to the program to find success.” This can result in rehab centers to charge their outrageous admission fees again. This goes for show that addicts shouldn’t be trapped in a situation where they can’t get help to the place they are suggested to go for help.What needs to be done for rehabilitation institutions is reformation, so that these programs can help addicts and create a more successful rate of soberness.  Jane E. Brody of New York Times wrote an article titled “Effective Addiction Treatment” which she talks in length of how to make these institutes more favorable to the addict. First, she addresseses is to make more people are get into programs, because in 2016  “at least 23.5 million teenagers and adults addicted to drugs, only about 1 in 10 gets treatment.”  Majority of this problem is because most rehab centers cost way too much for an average addict to afford. Additionally, addicts aren’t promised to become sober and more likely to relapse after treatment.  Brody believes that if rehab is cheaper and rehab programs create appropriate changes, it could lead to chances of higher success rates, then people will be obliged to join.  Dr. Mark Willenbring says in an interview, “You don’t treat a drug addicts for four weeks and then send the patient to a support group. People with a chronic form of addiction need multimodal treatment that is individualized and offered continuously or intermittently for as long as they need it.”  Instead of paying $28,000 a month, the person that needs help should be paying that type of money for at least a year. Willenbring says there is evidence that suggest the longer the addict commits, the higher chance of sobriety.  Other factors for creating effective rehab programs needs “personnel with at least a master’s degree, physicians certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, individualized treatment with a licensed addiction counselor, the ability to treat, underlying mental health or social issues, access to medications, if needed or desired, and emphasis on using multiple forms of treatment.”  Only a rare few rehab centers use these methods and are known to have higher sober rates for individuals after they leave.  All rehab centers to implement these methods to their programs, so addicts can be more enticed to join and to have a higher chance to stop their prescription drug abuse. To at least stop people from becoming addicts from prescription drugs, their needs to be stricter policies to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs.  Policies such as decreasing the amount of dosage of meds someone would be prescribed from a doctor.  Restricting access to known prescription drugs with euphoric effects should result in less people becoming addicted.  Katie Zezima from The Washington Post  wrote an article titled “With Drug Overdoses Soaring, states limit the length of painkiller prescriptions” where she writes about how 17 states have enacted rules to restrain the number of painkillers doctors can prescribe.  According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, “patients who use such painkillers for longer periods of time are more likely to end up addicted to them.”  They also studied how three days should be sufficient enough to help with a patient’s ordeal.  This restriction though isn’t applied to patients of chronic pain, cancer, hospice or palliative care.  So far, the states that put on the rule of prescription drug restrictions have seen a decrease in people becoming addicts.  If their rules become implemented to the rest of the United States, we would see the number of people becoming addicts decrease. What else is needed for this problem is get rid of the influences in our culture  and celebrities that glorifies the misuse of prescription drugs.  This is really prominent in the rap and pop music scene.  The radio is filled with songs that reference drug use.  Lyrics such as “Molly, percocet, molly, percocet” from the rap artist Future and “Pineapple Fanta it mix with the xanax, she lovin’ the codeine” from the singer Chris Brown aren’t even being censored on the radio. What these artists don’t realize is that their songs are sparking the mentality, especially in the youth, that doing drugs such as xanax, opiates, and codeine are what’s necessary for one to be cool in our society.  If these artists could stop talking about drug use, then perhaps there might be a decrease of people being introduced to these drugs. According to an article titled “Teenagers most influenced by celebrities” from the The Telegraph, “One in four teenagers admit they are more influenced by celebrities than people they know, according to a new survey.”  In America there is a total of 41,731,233 youth age 10-19 in the United States, 13% of the total U.S. population.  If we put in perspective of the estimated amount of teenagers for influenced by celebrities in america, that is around 10,432,808.  If celebrities stop talking about and glorifying drug use, think about the amount teengaers that won’t be introduced and unlikely partake in prescription drug use.One may argue that the pharmacies are responsible for influencing addiction. The point is, pharmacists are responsible for many things in order to improve patients’ health. As the last and most trusted link in a chain of healthcare professionals, pharmacists are the ones who ultimately determine if, when, and how a patient receives his or her medicinal care. Thus, regarding the issue of prescription drug abuse, it’s clear that we hold more influence and potential than most laypeople recognize. Even if a case of prescription misuse is caused by physician corruption, patient dishonesty, or an accident of ignorance, pharmacists are responsible for making things right.On the other hand, one may also place the victims at fault for their own misbehavior and inability to practice self-control  The answer to that is no. Though you chose to first experiment with a drug or alcohol or experiment multiple times, you goal likely was not physical and psychological addiction. In fact, some people who are addicted prescription painkillers take a drug repeatedly because a doctor told them to, having no idea that prescription painkiller addiction would be the inevitable result. The problem with drug addiction is that it does not follow a specific, unalterable pattern with every person who uses a given drug. Even if a handful of people were to use the same drug in the same amount under the same circumstances for the same length of time, the development of physical and psychological addiction will be different for each person. Some may indulge as much as they like without developing an addiction at all while at the other end of the spectrum, others will show signs of addiction almost immediately. Describing the misuse of prescription drugs a health “epidemic” is not an exaggeration, it’s truly a problem that is affecting the very well-being of people of all ages in America.  Becoming an addict to these kinds of drugs is life-threatening to one’s health.  They shouldn’t be used at all for recreational use and ways to cope with one’s mental problems.  I truly agree that misusing prescription drugs is a problem that needs to be solved, through means of policies and changes in our culture.  Our forty year war against the illegal drugs promoted by drug cartels has been a proven failure. If America devoted just a tenth of the effort to controlling the equally dangerous misuse of legal prescription drugs, we would most certainly succeed.

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