Prescription painkillers are being abused all over the world. During the past 20 years, the rate of use in the United States has skyrocketed. Patients get hooked on painkillers and slowly run out of money and make the transition to a cheaper alternative, heroin. Recently some professionals have asked the question, “Are doctors the main culprits of the over prescribing of painkillers? Are they at fault for the mass amounts of people who are addicted?”
It is easy to point a finger and blame the doctors, but that would be naive. Sure there are many doctors who must realize they are prescribing too many painkillers. They know that their patients are not in pain and they are only there to fill prescriptions to either abuse or to resell. There are plenty of these doctors who are caught week in and week out for writing out prescriptions when not necessary. They destroy the oath they have taken as healthcare professionals and disregard the safety of the people they are prescribing in order to make money. The amount of money that some "dirty doctors" make is in the millions and there doesn't seem like a shortage of doctors willing to take the risk to make the big bucks.
For doctors who are prescribing too many painkillers, it may also be the lack in their addiction education. It is widely known that doctors in medical school receive an extremely small amount of education on addiction. Some say as little as one day is given to the cause. This is a major issue and needs to be looked at by medical schools. If doctors understood what kind of problem over-prescribing causes, the majority of them would look to different options for the health of their patients. I am not a fan of people bashing medical doctors and blaming them as the main reason for the epidemic, because not all doctors are bad people. Many have gotten into the medical profession to help people in the first place.
Over-prescribing is quite common and I hear about it daily from people who reach out to me. The amounts of medications some of these people are prescribed are extremely high in my opinion. Someone who suffers from pain that is 22 years old should not be on 180 Roxicidone 30mg pills per month. The amount of people I talk to who have MULTIPLE painkiller prescriptions is also not acceptable. Many people I speak with even admit that they realize they are on too much medication, yet their doctors continue prescribing. When some of them ask to be put on a lower dose, the doctors insist that they will be in pain if they reduce their use. This is a major problem that needs to be addressed.
Of course you should always listen to medial doctors but remember you can get a second opinion for another doctor if you feel something is wrong. Doctors are only human and they do make mistakes so another doctor may save you from a long hard road of abuse and addiction. If you second guess the amounts of medications you are on and think you may have a problem, please have a conversation with your doctor. It may just save your life.