The Effects of Abusing Prescription Opioids
Originally given as a rehab drug, a prescription opioid may end up being abused by its user. Drug abuse is not limited to taking illicit drugs alone. It involves the misuse of prescription drugs too. The misuse of prescription drugs has been on a steady rise for a while now. This abuse has affected not just the individual over the years but also the society at large. It is, therefore, necessary to take action to stop this drug abuse.
Before discussing what steps are being taken, it is important to talk about the drugs themselves. Prescription opioids like codeine and morphine are used as pain relief drugs. As with anything, there are possible side effects that come with using these drugs. The user stands a risk of becoming addicted or dependent on such drugs. The addiction will drive the patient to keep seeking out the drug no matter what. A large portion of patients in drug rehab centers are addicts of prescription opioids.
Effects and Implication of This Abuse
The effects of the abuse of prescription drugs are not limited to the individual alone. The society as a whole suffers. The society may suffer in either clinical or economic terms.
These effects include:
Resource Overuse: As a consequence of opioid misuse, treatment centers are being flooded daily by opioid abusers. These daily visits lead to a corresponding daily drain of medical resources.
Comorbidity: A comorbidity is an additional condition that affects a patient alongside a preexisting condition. Opioid abusers tend to have accompanying psychiatric issues with the pain being treated by the drug.
High Treatment Cost: The effects of opioid abuse are hard to get rid of. As a result, treatment centers charge a lot to treat patients. An inpatient drug rehab can cost as much as $1287. This is limited to the purchase of just the drug and does not consider other medical bills.
Death: Studies have shown that drug overdose is responsible for almost as many deaths as car crashes. This is predominant amongst men below the age of 40. The result of this is that the average life expectancy of the nation is being steadily reduced by an overdosing on drugs.
What Is Being Done To Prevent Opioid Abuse?
The Food and Drug Administration in partnership with the Drugs Enforcement Agency has launched programs to monitor the use of these opioids. These programs help discover and reduce fraudulent prescriptions and doctor shopping.
Pharmacies have also become involved in this fight. There is one such pharmacy that reaches out to prescribing doctors to ensure that the dispensation of controlled substances like opioids is indeed prescribed.
There are also treatment centers that are trying to identify patients with a tendency to misuse drugs. This helps curtail the dispensation of such substances to such patients.
While a prescription opioid remains the best drug for pain relief, it is important to avoid abusing it and avoiding the potential consequences of addiction.