Dr. Manny Alvarez, a Cuban-American OB-GYN, who regularly makes appearances as part of the Fox News Channel, has recently made a plea to parents to be more careful about the dangers of prescription drugs when it comes to their teens and the ways in which young people may have an alarming level of access to dangerous pills.
An Impassioned Plea
In his statement regarding teen prescription drug abuse, Alvarez points out the dangers related to drug use, particularly as it relates to teens, reminding parents, medical professionals, and lawmakers that drug use, especially in young people, can lead to serious “physical damage-both to…(the) brain and cardiovascular system,” and that the situation has become so severe that, “deaths from drug overdose and abuse now exceed deaths from motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.”
Many individuals who work in the mental health, substance abuse, and law enforcement fields have certainly noticed this terrible upswing, as deaths from heroin and opiates have spiked in many different regions across the country. In his statement, Alvarez pointed to a few different ways in which drugs, particularly prescription drugs, may be far too accessible for teens and other individuals prone to abusing them.
A Frightening Incident
Alvarez revealed that the reason behind him issuing his statement on the availability of drugs was that he was prompted into action after a disturbing incident involving a pharmacy where he had allegedly prescribed drugs to a patient. The reality, however, seemed to be far from the truth. Alvarez recounted being contacted by the pharmacy, who asked him to verify the validity of a painkiller medication that he had supposedly prescribed three times in one week.
Upon further investigation, Alvarez learned that the individual attempting to fill the prescription was a man, which was a cause for alarm, given the fact that Alvarez is an OB/GYN and does not see male patients. Although Alvarez was able to stop the person from illegally procuring drugs under his name, he became very concerned with the current state of the pharmaceutical company.
A Call For Greater Restrictions On Drug Dispensing
Given the major upswing of prescription drug abuse in the United States, and that so many of the individuals falling prey to prescription drug abuse seem to be teens and young people, Dr. Alvarez believes that one of the most important ways in which drug abuse may be curbed is by placing much higher controls on the ways in which dangerous prescription drugs may be dispensed. In Dr. Alvarez’s opinion, the United States has “become too relaxed on the flow of (prescription) drugs.”
This position does not seem unfounded, as Dr. Alvarez learned, after the incident involving fraudulent use of his number, that based on the way prescription drugs are currently dispensed, it is possible for anyone to call in a prescription fraudulently, if they have the correct ID number.
The Major Dangers of Prescription Drugs
There may be a number of reasons why prescription drug abuse is on such a rapid incline in the United States, and many professionals do indeed cite the apparent ease of procuring them as one reason why so many individuals are addicted to drugs like prescription opiates. While these drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors for legitimate purposes, they are extremely harmful when abused.
The number of deaths related to overdose of prescription drugs climbs every year, and frequent and compulsive use of the drugs often leads to serious damage to the brain and other vital organs, such as the liver and kidneys. It seems that Dr. Alvarez is not alone in believing that the problem must be stopped.
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