Sunday, March 4, 2012

Prescription Drug Abuse

There is no doubt that prescription drugs, in particular oxycodone, methadone and vicodin, are becoming a very serious epidemic in the world of criminal justice. What many thought was just a basic pill to relieve pain, had come to the realization that these pills are sometimes just as addictive as cocaine or even heroin. The DEA has taken a heavy stance on this topic and has made a large indent in the amount of pain killing drugs that pharmacies are allowed to prescribe. They have raided pharmacies, destroyed businesses that “possibly” are corrupt and even pulled licenses for distributing companies that deliver these drugs to the hospitals and emergency rooms where they are needed most. It is estimated that nearly 20% of all prescribed drugs are used for non-medical reasons (NLM). This means that individuals who are not prescribed are somehow attaining these narcotics and using them to mix with alcohol, take alone, or take for the simple pleasure of an altered consciousness.

The DEA has been using a zero tolerance form of law enforcement against producers and pharmacies. They have investigated harder than ever and only account for less than two percent of all drug possession charges. Among many of the cases they have dug into is the investigation and pulling of Cardinal Health’s license to distribute drugs to four different pharmacies throughout Florida. Because of a sudden spike of delivered drugs to these pharmacies, the DEA quickly hopped on the case and investigated. They have no evidence as to charge, however they do have probable cause to pull the license. The company is quite upset about the situation because they do not directly deal with the actual prescriptions; instead they simply deliver how many pills are ordered from the pharmacy. This seems like a bit of “nervous decision making” by the DEA, however I would imagine that the public and citizens of the area expect nothing but to allow a proper investigation into the spike of prescriptions. Here is an article/video that help explains a little more about abused prescription drugs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmUMJoFycwc

If the prescription drug abuse in America continues to worsen, I feel as though it could be an issue that may need to be addressed such as street drugs like marijuana, cocaine or heroin. As the video mentioned, prescription drugs are becoming easier and easier to abuse because of their abundance throughout families’ households. They are beginning to enter society at a younger age, making the younger generation susceptible to the drugs. With law enforcement agencies and federal agencies teaming up, I feel as though they should be able to quickly clean the abuse problem. The programs that are implanted to help rid prescription drugs are being used rapidly and have shown somewhat positive results. Offering different alternatives to ridding of left over prescription drugs will allow households to be closer to a drug free home. The programs are innovative are beginning to address the problem more seriously. According to the National Vital Statistics System, prescription drugs are an epidemic that should be assessed. This topic is quite interesting and I feel it

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-29/cardinal-health-painkillers-florida/53307498/1

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/abuse-of-prescription-drugs

8 comments:

  1. Some more heavily abused prescription drug is Adderall, vyvanse, and ritalin. Especially for college kids, these days most students don't study or do homework without the help of this study drug. Also people use these drugs while they are drinking heavily in order to not pass out and stay up all night. This is very very bad for your body, but most kids don;t even think they are doing anything wrong. This is due to the wide acceptance of these types of drugs.

    Prescription drug abuse is getting close to or even worse then what we as Americans consider hard drugs. When in reality they are just as bad for your health when they are abused by people who should not be taking them. Doctors need to be more strict about who they give these prescriptions too. These doctors are far to lenient and care to much about pleasing the drug companies. I totally agree with you on how this really is an epidemic, and will cause even greater problems if they are not addressed.

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  2. Great Read! This is a topic that is close to me, a very close friend of mine had a step father who we all like just completely destroyed by addiction to prescription drugs. It was just for a back injury and turned to something much worse an addiction. Prescription drugs are easily obtained in our society, and can be sold even easier. There is a huge market for prescription drugs, and a lot of people want them. People need to be monitored more by the people prescribing them and not the people selling them. The addiction level of these types of drug is astronomical, and I feel that the general public really has no knowledge on this other than what they see on television. Just about twenty years ago the focus was solely on marijuana to try and keep children from experimenting with it. Now we have much more to fear with everything that is abused and can be used as a drug. Prescription drugs are a danger when used for recreation, and it needs to have a little more attention brought to it and a little more education to kids now a day on the subject.

    Andrew Serena

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  3. It is very sad that prescription drugs are finding their ways into the homes of people and becoming a life threatening addiction. The worse part of this is most people who become addicted to these narcotics do not mean to be. Individuals who have surgery after surgery, one right after another, for example,their bodies become dependant on the narcotic. Once they are addicted, it is, like you mentioned, just as bad as being addicted to other drugs like heroin; it takes over the individuals' whole life and it is very,very hard to get off these drugs. Hopefully the actions taken by the DEA will keep taking affect.

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  4. I think this is one of the more prevalent issues in recent years, one that is much greater than the statistics show it to be. Prescription drugs are readily available on college campuses and even through family members. I know one of the contributing factors to youths obtaining such pills is by stealing them from older relatives, or taking the leftovers of old prescriptions individuals are no longer taking. An important issue I see in terms of law enforcement preventing this issue is how easy it is to conceal such pills, and how difficult it is to detect them. I think that the DEA is taking a pretty effective approach in targeting the companies who are manufacturing and distributing the drugs to cut them off at the source. However I feel as if they should also invest some time towards investigating individual doctors who are writing the prescriptions as well.

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  5. My personal opinion on the matter is that this is where some more of our focus should be in the "War on Drugs". The real problem is that in today's society where there is a pill for everything, drugs are just too readily available to patients. Doctors routinely over-prescribe these types of drugs. Anyone can easily walk into the doctors office, make up a phony story, and walk out with a prescription just to turn around and sell those drugs on the streets. There's no simple solution but I think we need to look at our health care system as being the primary source for the distribution of these dangerous drugs.

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  6. I also agree that this issue needs to be taken care of. Prescription drug abuse is indeed everywhere. Individuals are abusing these particular drugs because they are easy to get access to and they give the same type of effect as other drugs. I feel that it is the doctor’s responsibilities to regulate the pills and make sure that people aren’t abusing them.

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  7. Prescription drugs are a scary thing! You can get them so daily from the doctors and  they get abused just like that! I think that drugs are needed for when people are really in pain but at the same time how do you know if someone is lying about their pain or if someone that truly needs the medicine but needs money more so they sell their prescription. I have no idea how to stop the abuse of prescription drugs but I think that they need to do something to stop it!! 

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  8. This was an article that was very interesting and one that I could personally relate to my own life. I have stayed clear of the use of prescription pills throughout my entire life but recently a large number of my good friends have started to use prescription drugs. This hurts me because I see the various negative effects that these drugs have on people that abuse them. These effects become multiplied when they are used in combination with other drugs especially alcohol. I have had a first hand chance to see how these narcotics can turn an individual into a shell of what they used to be and it is extremely sad. I feel that the main issue with prescription pills is the fact that they are so easily accessible to people. I agree with you that if this drug issue continues to grow in recent years it will be just as bad as drugs such as marijuana. I believe that the most effective strategy that could be utilized to prevent this problem from growing is making it harder to gain access to the drugs. However, I have no specific methods for exactly how to do this.

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