Over the Counter, over Prescribed

In: Social Issues

Submitted By JoeyLefebvre
Words 4393
Pages 18
Lefebvre, Joseph
Bentley University
Lefebvre, Joseph
Bentley University
Over the Counter, Over Prescribed
Prescription Drug Abuse
Over the Counter, Over Prescribed
Prescription Drug Abuse

When describing a drug addict, the stereotypical description is usually someone who has no job, steals to get their fix, and is living their life in poverty because of their crippling addiction. The drug of choice for these “junkies” is typically black tar heroin. However in recent years this has not been the case. The age of prescription drugs is beginning and people are dying from prescription drug overdoses at an alarming rate. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), as seen in Figure 1 found in the Appendix, in 2010 there were 8.76 million prescription drug abusers (Drug Facts: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications). Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in America and it is not isolated to the stereotypical addict, as doctors and emergency response teams are seeing more and more overdoses and individuals seeking medical attention who are in the upper middle class and lead a fairly “normal” life besides their addiction. The NIDA found that there are around 5.1 million people in the US suffer from substance abuse disorders related to prescription pain relievers (Figure 1, Appendix). Although pain killer abuse gets a lot of the prescription drug abuse headlines, there are other medications that are being abused namely stimulants. Because over the counter and prescription medicines are so easy to obtain and the stigma behind these medications is that they are legal, people are abusing them and having to get emergency treatment at a rate that is surpassing the hard illicit drugs (World Drug Report 2011), and this trend does not look like it is slowing down. Prescription pain killers are becoming some of the most…...

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