The greatest boom in all of the addiction booms and crisis problems that this nation has been facing lately can be easily attributed to prescription painkiller addiction. Without a doubt, this is the worst of the worst when it comes to modern-day American drug addiction. In fact, the only substance that creates more devastation, more loss of life, and more addiction in general is alcohol. Crazily enough, the two substances that cause more damage than all other substances combined, are both entirely legal and acceptable in modern day society. Yet the crisis goes on and on with these drugs and shows no sign of dropping down or ending any time soon. The solution? There are many.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have all been particularly worried about prescription drug addiction. Rightly so, too. In fact, the CDC had this to say about the prescription painkiller addiction crisis:
“In all of the years that the United States has been a sovereign country and especially for as long as we have been monitoring addiction problems, no substance abuse issue has ever gone beyond that of a “crisis”. In 2009, prescription drug abuse and addiction was the first drug in the history of the nation to advance to an, “epidemic.” This drug is the most concerning one that there is now, and it will probably stay that way. We are more worried about this than any other substance in all truth. Given the sheer speed in which the addiction problem has been growing when it comes to prescription drugs, if nothing is done about it soon, then by the year 2030, roughly a fifth of the entire American population over the age of twelve will be addicted to some form of prescription drug.”
In all of the decades and centuries of battling addiction crisis, one after the other, the nation truly has never seen anything quite like this. Prescription drug abuse is here and it seems to be here to stay unless we do something about it. It is a devastating and seriously concerning problem to say the least and will probably stay that way until something is done about it. Perhaps the saddest thing about prescription painkiller addiction is just how immensely popular it has gotten with the youth population of the nation.
Studies now show that, in some regions of the country, teens are selecting prescription drugs over marijuana as their gateway drug. This is immensely concerning because prescription drugs are far more dangerous and deadly for all ages, and especially for young adults than marijuana is. But the grim truth of it is that prescription drug use and abuse is rising rapidly in popularity among the nation’s young adult population.
The Facts on Prescription Painkiller Addiction
Prescription drug use and abuse is an epidemic, and it has been for some years. By absolutely no means at all does this article ever intend to harm, defame, or incriminate anyone when it comes to pill abuse. This article seeks to inform and to educate.
This article aims to let people know just how dangerous and deadly prescription drug abuse and addiction is in the United States today. Awareness must be raised on this issue, or it will never get adequately addressed. In the nation today prescription drug abuse is the worst problem that we have, but no one’s talking about it. Trump and Hillary still argue about marijuana, when really prescription drugs will be the downfall of the nation long before marijuana, ever is.
Thankfully though, some organizations have tried to raise awareness and get the word out on these issues. These are organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Trust for American Health (TAH). These groups have all worked together to provide much of the statistical data and cruel yet valid evidence on this genuine crisis. For example:
- The sale of painkillers (like Demerol) has increased by over 300% since 2001. The result has been that addiction and substance abuse, in general, involving this drug has also grown exponentially. Truthfully, tens of millions of Americans use prescription medications non-medically every single year.
- Almost 3 out of every four prescription overdoses are caused by opiate-based painkillers. In 2009 for example, 1 in 3 prescription painkiller overdoses was caused by methadone alone, a drug that is supposed to help people get off of other drugs. What often happens with Methadone though is that people inevitably just end up getting addicted to it instead.
- The number of individuals receiving treatment for addiction to painkillers and sedatives has doubled since 2002. This is now the nation’s largest addiction crisis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC). It is certainly the fastest growing addiction crisis in the nation and has accounted for more trouble in general since the turn of the century than addictions to all other substances.
- The rate of the current marijuana use among males of the age of 12 to 17 declined from 9.1 percent in 2002 to 6.9 percent in 2006, then increased between 2006 and 2011 (9.0 percent). The rate decreased from 2011 to 2012 (7.5 percent) and remained stable in 2013 (7.9 percent). Among females aged 12 to 17, the rate of current marijuana use decreased from 7.2 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 6.2 percent in 2013. Unfortunately for females though, pill abuse and psychotropic drug abuse is getting a lot worse.
- Among young adults between the ages of 18 to 25, the rate of current non-medical use of psychotherapeutic drugs in 2013, (4.8 percent), was similar to the rates in 2011 (5.0 percent) and 2012 (5.3 percent) but it was lower than the rates in 2002 to 2010 (ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 percent). The rate of the current non-medical use of pain relievers amongst young adults in the year of 2013, (3.3 percent), was lower than the rates in 2012 (3.8 percent) and in 2002 to 2010 (ranging from 4.1 to 5.0 percent), but it was similar to the rate in 2011 (3.6 percent).
- The overall rate of current non-medical use of psychotherapeutic drugs among males aged 12 to 17 decreased from a high of 3.7 percent in 2003 to 2.0 percent in the year of 2013. Among females of the age of 12 to 17, the rate of current non-medical use of psychotherapeutic drugs decreased from a high of 4.4 percent in 2002 to 2.4 percent in 2013, including a decline from 3.2 percent in 2012, but then coming with a staggering increase in 2014 and again in 2015.
Addressing Prescription Painkiller Addiction with Rehabilitation
Prescription drug addiction is devastating and harmful to say the least and it has caused endless havoc in the nation. More harm was done in the United States because of prescription drugs in five years than cocaine accomplished in five decades. However, prescription drug abuse does not have to be a permanent affliction for anyone who is addicted to it and who is suffering with it.
When it comes down to it, the key to beating a prescription drug abuse problem or addiction crisis, (and the only way to overcome any addiction), is with the help of an inpatient addiction treatment center. With effective inpatient treatment, anyone who is addicted to anything, even something as profoundly addictive as pills, can go free from their addiction once and for all and lead sober lives. This must be the current focus because only with inpatient rehab, will this problem ever cease to be such a serious issue.