What Doctors Have to Say About Addictive Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug abuse has risen rapidly through the ranks of addiction difficulties, steadily climbing to become the single most dangerous and risky substance abuse problem that our nation now faces. Yes, as controversial and unpleasant as it is to learn of such a difficulty, it is true that pharmaceutical drugs (drugs that are supposed to be helpful and beneficial to us) actually embody the worst substance abuse epidemic our nation has ever seen before. And finally, after twenty years of hundreds of thousands of lives lost and millions addicted to pharmaceuticals, doctors are banding together and making their voices heard in a bold refusal to continue pedaling what are, essentially, legalized addictions.
From new survey and research into prescription drug prescribing trends, it was found that no less than nine out of ten doctors are very concerned about prescription drug abuse in their local areas and what part they play in it. Furthermore, the study indicated that more than half of the doctors surveyed indicated that they were more reluctant about prescribing painkiller drugs than they were just one year ago.
Doctors Recognize that Prescription Drugs are the Problem
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a research project into current pharmaceutical prescribing trends in the U.S. Throughout the project, researchers surveyed five-hundred and eighty family doctors and general practitioners across the nation.
From the research, surveyors found that eighty-five percent of doctors believed that high strength opioid pharmaceuticals like OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Dilaudid, Opana, Morphine, etc. are overprescribed. More than half of the surveyed doctors said that they were very concerned about risks involved with such medications.
“The healthcare community has long been part of the problem, and now they appear to be part of the solution to this complex epidemic.”
According to one of the lead researchers and a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. G. Caleb Alexander:“Our findings suggest that primary care providers have become aware of the scope of the prescription opioid crisis and are responding in ways that are important, including reducing their over-reliance on these medicines. The healthcare community has long been part of the problem, and now they appear to be part of the solution to this complex epidemic.”
The research project went on to prove that two-thirds of doctors believe that patients become addicted to opioid painkillers very frequently. And half of the doctors surveyed even agreed that addiction can occur in patients who take the medicines exactly as prescribed.
Moving Towards Positive Change
The fact that doctors are finally coming around and starting to see just how truly dangerous and unpleasant opioid pharmaceuticals are is a huge move in the right direction. It indicates that the medical community is finally becoming unwilling to peddle the very medicines that kill thousands and which addict millions.
Going forward into the future, the focus must be on doctors and patients both in exploring alternative and non-narcotic, non-opioid methods of pain mediation. Doctors and patients alike need to explore holistic medicine, alternative treatments, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, exercise, proper diet, and a plethora of other techniques that can reduce the need for opioid painkillers.
According to federal statements on the matter, prescription drug abuse is without a doubt the fastest growing drug problem that we face in the U.S. today. In 2016, prescription opioids caused more than forty thousand of the sixty-four thousand overdose deaths that occurred that year. It is a brutal and miserable condition that needs to be addressed immediately. Between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's demand for stricter prescribing trends and surveys of doctors like the above, we could see real change here.