Prescription drug abuse is now the leading form of addiction nationwide, second only to marijuana abuse. Out of all drugs, prescription drug abuse is responsible for the most lives lost by far and most hospitalizations. There are a number of such cases, i.e., Xanax addiction and withdrawal, Trazodone addiction and withdrawal, etc.
In response to the booming number of people who are addicted to and overdosing on prescription medication, there are numerous strategies to make the prescriptions harder to come by, less easily abused, and more strictly prescribed. Agencies from local hospitals to the federal government are on alert for better ways to restrict the number of pills available to the public illegally and effectiveness in treating those who are addicted.
Even with the added precautions, procedures and restrictions, there are still thousands of people becoming addicted and just as many dying annually due to accidental overdose on the substances. It is clear that the only thing that might break the cycle is the spread of awareness about these drugs.
First, it is important to know that painkillers are addictive, and there are many medications that are aimed to do different things; some are painkillers, others are designed to relieve depression and anxiety, and others still are aimed to act like stimulants. The list of addictive prescriptions is very likely to be much longer than the list of non-addictive prescriptions.
Secondly, the misconceptions surrounding pharmaceuticals must be put to rest. Just because these drugs come in a plastic container with a prescription on it, doctor prescribed, or received from a pharmacy, hospital, or other similar establishment does not mean that the substance is safe for people to take. Many people will see their parents and grandparents take the medications regularly to aid their ailments, but it does not mean that it is okay and safe for anyone to do the same.
It should be widespread information that prescription pills do cause addiction. They do cause serious negative health consequences such as heart attack, stroke, organ failure, brain damage, and even death. This is true even if the medications are made to make life more comfortable. No person can self-prescribe medication and hope to understand the ingredients, dosages, and effects or know how much is the right amount for any given individual.
Annually the number of people who die from prescription pill overdose far outweighs the number of deaths caused by car accidents. Ten years ago, the number of fatalities due to car accidents was enough to make headlines, surprise people and send the message that substances should never be taken when driving.
The truth about prescription drug abuse needs to be as widespread and well-known as possible. It is the only true way to forcefully impact the community and cut down the rate of addiction and deaths. There are many people out there who are not aware of these facts; there are many who should take into consideration the dangers before using a medication without explicit doctor instruction. These are the people most vulnerable to developing addiction and the most susceptible to accidental overdose or falling into a coma, suffering brain or organ damage leading to death.