The rate of addiction to prescription painkillers across the United States throughout the population is greater nowadays than all illegal drug addictions combined. More people than ever are getting hooked onto things like prescription painkillers such as Dilaudid, OxyContin, Methadone and morphine. It isn’t becoming an epidemic… it already is one. One has to ask: Why is this happening? How is this happening? Where are all these drugs coming from? It can seem like a complicated issue at first, but if you break it down, it is really quite simple. Here are five reasons why the United States is having such an issue with prescription drug abuse.
It’s Easy To Get
All one really has to do is go to a doctor and say that you are having some serious pain in your knees, or side, or whatever, and that things like Ibuprofen and Tylenol don’t seem to be working. This paints a bad picture on doctors, sadly, but don’t blame them completely- Western medicine is about using medications and surgery, things that are more clinical, to fix issues. Chances are, you could get a prescription for a powerful opiate painkiller that day. If you come across a good doctor, they will probably figure out what you’re up to and recommend other versions of help. But still, medications are usually the way that such issues are treated.
They are even being sold on the street. Someone could get a few Adderall or maybe some OxyContin from a dealer on the street for far more than the prescription price, but people will buy it and that’s how the dealers make their money. Where do they get it? Well, from the medicine cabinet at home, probably, but ultimately from a doctor.
If someone was pulled over and had a bottle of OxyContin in their car, they won’t be cited or arrested for it. Nowadays it would not be a stretch of the mind to think that the officer might become suspicious and do a sobriety test due to the reputation that prescription meds are getting, but that the same time, having a bottle of Oxy or a bottle of morphine will probably not get you in trouble, unless the laws have changed recently.
People Don’t Realize They Are Becoming Addicted
Since prescription drugs are legal and are fixing problems like pain, then people don’t realize that they are becoming dependent on them. It happens with painkillers that the body grows a tolerance to them, and the user will find that despite the fact that they are taking the normal amount of the drug, as they should be, the pain seems to be growing or not being remedied at all. So, they feel they need to take more. And this is how an addiction starts.
The Addiction Is Strong
Not to say that one addiction is worse than another, but opiate addiction is one that is extremely powerful. Once someone gets hooked to painkillers, they start to take so many that, as some have referred to it, it becomes like you’re “eating candy.” This is extremely hazardous because serious liver damage can occur, not to mention overdosing. But seeing as the body grows a tolerance, then people take more and more.
Another strange thing that happens is the body, in it’s dependence, will start to create phantom pain that is not connected to any actual problem so that the person feels like they need to take more. And this pain is never actually remedied because it is not real.
It’s Hard to Get Off
Once the talons of an addiction have sunk in, it is first hard for someone to at least admit they have a problem, and then actually start to work on it. When the body is used to taking such high dosages of a medication, especially one that is as powerful as an opiate, the withdrawals from it feel absolutely horrific. Although not fatal at all, people have described opiate withdrawals as they felt like they were dying. This is why people should go to a detox facility in order to get off of their addiction, because trying to do it on their own will not work.