According to a new study by the journal Lancet, researchers from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, Australia found that prescription pain killers cause more deaths and illnesses per year worldwide than marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The problem is at epidemic proportions in the United States says the published journal.
More than fifteen million people around the world are addicted to opiate painkillers like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.. This is not surprising due to the strength of these narcotics and how heavily marketed they are. According to the study, 78,000 people overdosed in 2010 with 55 percent of them dieing from painkillers.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12 million people abuse prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons in the United States and more than 14,000 people overdose from them each year.
Nicholas Kardaras, PhD, an addiction specialist and clinical assistant professor of health science at Stony Brook University in New York said, “Opiates are easy to overdose on. When you take too many, your respiration slows down and your breathing stops. It’s very easy to reach that tipping point.”
Parents need to keep a vigilant eye on their prescription pain killers, even going as far as locking them in a safe. If children want to experiment with prescription pain killers, they will start by looking your medicine cabinet first. This has shown to be a very common gateway for addicted teens. If you have prescription painkillers that are no longer used and need to be disguarded, contact your local Health Department or Police Station (or local pharmacy) as it has become very common for them to destroy them safely. It is not recommended to flush prescription medications of any kind down the drain or toilet as it had been proven to affect the drinking water.
The issue of prescription painkillers is an all out epidemic in the United States. Many measures are being taken to help the cause but researchers believe it is going to get much worse before it gets better. Dr. Kardaras said, “In decades past, doctors prescribed opiates mainly for cancer patients.” “Now opiates are also commonly used for chronic non-cancer pain, especially chronic lower back pain. The U.S. has become over medicated.” This over medicated society will need all the help it can get in the future. Do whatever you can to educate the people willing to listen. This problem affects all of us. Every community facing this issue deals with higher crime rates and lives being destroyed.