If you are taking larger doses of prescription medication, are taking them out of boredom, constantly calling for refills, or making false prescription papers to send to the pharmacy, then you are addicted to prescription drugs. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdoses.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 48 million people who are ages twelve and over use prescription drugs recreationally in the U.S. which is 20% of the country’s population. People tend to take opioids to treat pain as well as depressants such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin to treat anxiety and sleep. A lot of people also take stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Daytrana, Methylin, and Ritalin to treat ADD and narcolepsy. Ever since the 1990s, prescription drugs such as codeine and morphine have increased. It could be because of the aging population and many people in chronic pain.
When you take prescription drugs with alcohol, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines, there is an increased risk of respiratory depression or death. In the short-term under a doctor’s supervision, taking prescription drugs with the required dose is normally safe. The problem is taking them in the long-term where you can be more likely to grow an addiction to them. The euphoric feeling from opioids is normally mild so if someone was to snort or inject OxyContin, the euphoric feelings will strengthen. It is easy these days to get more prescription drugs as doctors are writing more prescriptions than ever before. There are also online pharmacies that teens can get access to buy them. There are drugs in the US to treat opioid withdrawal such as Buprenorphine combined with naloxone, Probuphine, and Naltrexone along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
In Europe, according to BMC Psychiatry, Germany has the lowest use of prescription drugs while the UK, Spain, and Sweden have the highest. 44% use opioids and 62% use sedatives. Europeans are able to get them either from friends and family or stealing them from someone they know. Those who are ages eighteen or older pose a great risk of going under the influence. There are treatment options in Scandinavia where there are treatment and needle exchange programs. Europe’s results for prescription drug addiction may not match the US’s results but they come close. More research needs to be done in Europe to help treat those with this addiction.