A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the overall health of the Unites States included additional information on prescription drugs. According to the report, 48 percent of adults in the U.S. are currently on some type of prescription drugs, which is up from 39 percent about 20 years ago. The number represent a 25% increase.
While medications are usually life-saving medical advancements for most conditions, there also can be side effects and additional complications. One of the problems with some of the drugs can be the abuse potential and dependency rate. This is of course especially the case when it comes to prescription painkillers. A little more than 10% of the prescriptions were for painkillers overall.
With the rise in painkiller use and abuse unfortunately came major consequences. The total number of overdose deaths from prescription narcotics tripled in the past decade.
What is really being done about this? For starters, there has definitely been more media attention brought to the opiate overdose epidemic, especially in the Northeastern United States. There has also been a big push to make naloxone more available to help prevent overdose deaths.
Are these things enough though? With the continuous advertisements claiming there is a pill for virtually every problem, it appears that maybe the culture as a whole must start to shift toward seeking healthier alternatives and resorting to medications only when necessary. Things like a healthy diet, exercise, time with family, creative outlets, religion, work, volunteering and other social groups can help people feel better mentally and physically.
If you have a loved one who is dependent on or abusing prescription drugs and would like to find help, contact Family First Intervention today.