Overview Of Prescription Drug Abuse

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Prescription drug abuse in the United States has officially been declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics, 2013). Due to the increase of prescription drug abuse, prescription narcotics have been considered the new “gateway” drug to heroin addiction. The prescription drug epidemic is being fueled by prescribers and physicians that are not utilizing proper guidelines when prescribing narcotics to patients. A major concern is that doctors are shying away from utilizing therapy and counseling, which could alleviate the use and abuse of prescription medication. With the increase of prescription medication flooding the population, this has lead to society’s concern that doctors are …show more content…

Pharmaceutical drug overdoses were recorded as one of the leading causes of death in the United States, killing more Americans than firearms or motor vehicle accidents (Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics, 2013). Many patients are being prescribed these medications after surgery or after suffering an injury that may not require surgery and through overuse, causing these patients to become addicted. Although many feel that doctors are still overprescribing narcotics, this epidemic of prescription drug abuse has been brought to the forefront of national consciousness causing many prevention strategies of abuse to be put in place, strategies that were not presented in the past. The hope for these strategies is to curb the amount of unnecessary prescriptions being prescribed. Some of these strategies include educating and training physicians and doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of addictive diseases, specifically the abuse and misuse of controlled prescription drugs, as well as the implementation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which …show more content…

Drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to make sure doctors keep writing prescriptions, and since direct kickbacks to doctors are illegal, drug companies and medical supply firms have found increasingly creative ways to put money in the doctors’ pockets. Drug and medical device companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to influence medical providers. Influence comes in the form of large commissions for doing speeches on behalf of, and written by, the medical company, first class travel and all expense paid trips to exotic destinations, all for the sole reason of attending drug companies’ conferences where the doctor will sign up as a guest speaker or as a consultant. 94% of doctors have some affiliation with a drug company or medical device company. In 2014, a sunshine law takes effect which will require companies to make public all the money they funnel to medical providers; we should finally be able to see how many millions have gone to the doctors and others (George Knapp, 2013). The biggest chunk of money is always labeled “research”, and in the $600 billion worldwide pharmaceutical industry, for every dollar a company spends on “basic research”, they put $19 towards promotion and marketing (Mark Koba, CNBC,

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