The Dangers of Prescription Pain Killers

By Rebecca Jones

Prescription drug abuse is quickly becoming an epidemic in America and as a result opioid prescription drugs such as Oxycodone now kill nearly 40 Americans a day, that is more than heroin and cocaine combined. Last year alone twelve million Americans admitted to abusing prescription drugs.

What is perhaps most surprising about this latest study is where these drugs are coming from. Instead of shady street corner drug dealers it rouge doctors that are responsible for most of these drugs getting into the hands of the public. Prescription painkiller abuse is up 300% just since 1999 and a California study determined that only 3% of doctors are writing 62% of painkiller prescriptions.

According to the CDC the most commonly abused drugs are Vicodin, Oxycontin, Opana and methadone but the list doesn’t end there. Here are several other drugs that are becoming popular among the 1 in 20 Americans who admit to having abused prescription medication.

  • Oxycodone drugs including Oxyfast, Percolone and Roxicodone
  • Oxycodone combined with other meds such as Percocet and Xolox
  • Hydrocodone: Lortab, Tussiones and Vanacet

This is also not a trend just affecting the youth in this country. Abuse is most common among white middle age men living in rural areas.

CDC director Frieden recommends that states get more involved in cracking down on those that are prescribing these drugs and prevent people from seeking out doctors that give out prescriptions freely.

“We are in an epidemic of prescription drug overdose, this epidemic can be stopped.” Said Frieden “We are optimistic that when states get serious, they can shut pill mills, stop inappropriate prescriptions, and halt this epidemic.”

The White House has set an initiative to reduce prescription drug abuse by 15% by 2015 but remains committed to ensuring that truly need these medications will not suffer as a result.