Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse

While not appreciated by many, the problem of drug abuse extends far beyond that which is illegal. There are millions of recorded cases per year of prescription drug abuse within America and Europe alone. Sadly, this is not always covered well in popular media. A wide variety of people from many different backgrounds struggle with this issue; nevertheless, celebrities are the most common target, with unearthed dependencies and habits gaining the most attention and controversy. 

The culture is important in understanding this issue properly. Illegal drugs are always a talking point and a hotly contested area prone to serious and passionate discussion. The topic of illegal drugs reaches far into fiscal policy, the prison system and our relationships with other countries and their own problems within the global drug network. Legal drugs used in medical prescriptions are a different story. Many of the drugs prescribed to patients are incredibly potent and, unfortunately, addictive. This leads to problems of addiction just as legitimate and intimate as the more well known illegal drugs such as crack cocaine, heroin and so on. The nature of purchase and the culture attached may be different, but the threat to our society in the form of addiction to prescribed medication is just as real and incredibly far-reaching.

A large problem with prescription drug addiction is that of public awareness. As we have established in the previous paragraph, our society is acutely aware of illegal drugs and more conversation is occurring on this subject, as can be seen in recent efforts to legalize marijuana in America. Public awareness of addiction to legal prescriptions is sadly a different story.

Drugs that are commonly abused are often in the area of pain killers, tranquilizers and sedatives. These drugs are in the main used to treat ailments like anxiety and sleep disorders. Opioids are used for many pain killers and can lead to extreme cases of addiction. Many contest the benefit of prescribing such powerfully addictive drugs, with the argument that it creates one problem after it temporarily solves another. This complicated issue has ramifications that extend fully into government level finance and budgets.

Much more needs to be done to bring into the public eye the subject of the powerful drugs that are prescribed to patients for various issues and ailments. Generating more conversation on the subject can help bring awareness, and through that clarity and closer attention to what drugs are prescribed and what is best for different situations. It is the simple act of conversation on a countrywide level that brings about change. This can be witnessed as mentioned previously with the recent discussion on marijuana in America, and its place within the legal and medical laws therein. Awareness is the key to making sure that enough public pressure is applied to the topic of prescription drugs. The reason for this being beneficial is that it will help ensure caution when prescribing powerful drugs, which will help avoid unneeded addictions and negative experiences for those in need of prescription help.

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