Rachelle Allen's Story Of Prescription Narcotic Abuse

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Prescription Narcotic Abuse Abuse of prescription narcotics causes loss of family relations, income, and self-esteem for the addict and causes an economic burden on American society. The abuse of prescription narcotics is fast becoming an epidemic in the United States. According to the article “Opioid Abuse and Addiction,” the number of individuals abusing prescription narcotics increased from “7.8 million in 1992 to 15.1 million in 2003” (Gupta and Christo 132). Abuse is defined as the use of a prescription narcotic without having a legal prescription for that narcotic or failure to take the narcotic as directed by the prescribing physician. Most prescription narcotic addicts do not begin their addiction by buying illegal pharmaceuticals …show more content…

Some argue that the individual just needs to stop misusing prescription narcotics. However, narcotic addiction often causes physical and psychological dependence and is rarely a matter of simply deciding to stop taking the drug. The web article, “Prescription Pills, Addiction “Hell”: Rachel Allen’s Story of Opioid Abuse Offers Look Inside U.S. Epidemic,” relates the story of Rachelle Allen, who became addicted to prescription pain pills following a surgical procedure (Bavley). During her ten-year addiction, Ms. Allen lost her family, her career, and her dignity (Bavley). For the addict, the quest to obtain narcotics takes precedence over all other needs and many times that individual loses the ability to function independently. As the addiction progresses, financial responsibilities become less of a priority and maintaining employment becomes impossible. For these reasons, treatment programs should focus not only on overcoming the physical and psychological dependence on narcotics, but, should also help the individual with job seeking skills and household …show more content…

Some may argue that physicians cannot be held responsible for a patient’s illegal use of his or her prescription narcotics. However, many physicians write prescriptions for narcotics knowing they will be sold illegally. Requiring physicians to enter prescription information into a national database at the time the prescription is written would serve as a deterrent to physicians who intentionally abuse their prescriptive powers. The article, “Combating the Prescription Painkiller Epidemic: A National Prescription Drug Reporting Program,” relates the story of Callie Hall Herpin, a Houston physician, who sold prescriptions for a total of “$1.7 million in cash” to drug dealers and solicited the help of her office staff and local pharmacies to cover her actions (Shepherd 95). The thousands of narcotics Dr. Herpin made available for illegal purchase make her no better than a drug trafficker. While physicians who engage in such prescriptive practices may be in the minority, the contribution those physicians make to the illegal drug trade nationwide cannot be overlooked. Strict adherence to a national prescription narcotic reporting system is an effective way to hold the abusing physicians responsible for their

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