According to the latest surveys, many doctors prescribe more painkiller medication than needed. It seems that more than half of the patients who were prescribed painkillers based on opioids were given more pills than necessary, sprouting a national problem.
According to the FDA, the leading cause of accidental deaths in the US in 2014 was accidental drug intoxication (be it an overdose or a pill mix-up). The latest study on the matter shows that Vicodin or OxyContin (which can be addictive when used in long intervals of time) were freely prescribed by physicians.
Many doctors prescribe more painkiller medication than needed and that unhealthy practice is claiming the lives of thousands of patients. The government referred to the increasing drug abuse problem as being a national epidemic.
The study in question followed over 1,000 adult individuals who were prescribed opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin. The scientists asked them about the way in which they use the pills, whether or not they share them, and what their storage habits are.
Roughly 6 out of 10 surveyed individuals declared that they had leftover medication or that they will have some after finishing their treatment.
Approximately 1 in 5 participants admitted that thy shared their prescription medicine with another person. The reason invoked for their behavior was the fact that they wanted to help the other person manage his or her pain.
Furthermore, it seems that approximately 60 percent of patients who are left with opioids after pain management treatment save them for “future use.” The problem is that more than half of them were not aware of the fact that there is a certain protocol to be followed when it comes to the storage of opioid substances.
Out of those who did recall that some storage information was passed on, only one-third admitted that the instructions came from a nurse or a doctor. In 45 percent of times, the information was provided by a pharmacist or a drug packaging.
Less than 1 percent of the total number of interviewed individuals said that they keep their excess medication in a safe, locked environment. Another 20 percent declared that they keep their pills in a “latched” location.
Unfortunately, many doctors prescribe more painkiller medication than needed, and the patients don’t know how to dispose themselves properly of the extra pills.
What is your opinion on the rising prescription drug abuse problem? Do you think that doctors should start prescribing fixed medication? Leave us your thoughts below.
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