Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.
Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.
Between 1999 and 2015, approximately 183,000 people succumbed to an overdose of prescription opioids. Traditionally, public ire for the ongoing opioid crisis had been largely directed at the illegal drug cartels and the government.
While drugs cartels have been responsible for discreetly selling and distributing drugs, the government increased the sense of despair due to steep unemployment rates and a plummeting economy. The absence of high-quality, government-funded addiction treatment centers only served to aggravate public outrage.
Gradually, the outlook of politicians, law enforcement officials, journalists and public health experts changed and they started looking for answers in the pharmaceutical industry. To fix accountability for the opioid epidemic, government officials are seeking justice against the falsehood and corruption practiced by the big opioid manufacturers. However, there have been only a handful of settlements and arrests so far.
Unfortunately, the above remedial measure has not made many changes in the scenario as the pharma companies continue to make huge profits. At the same, there have been no significant changes in the practice of ‘over prescription’ of opioids among medical practitioners.
In one of the major prosecutions, Dr. Eugene Gosy, a 56-year-old globetrotter from Williamsville running a pain management clinic, was charged with criminal offence related to federal narcotics and fraud.
He was charged for prescribing more painkillers than any other medical setup or hospital in the state. Charged of turning his patients into drug addicts for profit, a grand jury after seven months of proceedings held him responsible for the death of around six people that indirectly or directly contributed to the deaths of other followers.
As such, his list of offenses is quite a long. He has been charged on 166 counts that include not only manslaughter but also unlawful distribution and dispensation of controlled substances, including fentanyl, oxycodone and tapentadol, for profit. Moreover, he has been accused of signing death certificates without conducting an autopsy for patients taking controlled substances. He and his team handed out prescriptions for opioids even if patients were clearly abusing the medications. Despite the family members sharing their concerns, he continued to push pills to patients. He has been alleged to have signed hundreds of blank prescriptions for other untrained staff to fill while he was out of town.
The medical profession has always been regarded as the ‘noble profession.’ It originated from the primary desire to help the sick and alleviate their suffering. Though rendering service to humanity is the primary aim of this profession, there has been considerable conflict of interest (COI) between this noble aim and the entire motive of making financial gains due to the rise of private pharmaceutical companies. This tussle has affected every aspect of health care, including clinical care, teaching and research.
It has become a global trend among medical practitioners to prescribe indiscriminately, thereby promoting some drugs just for the sake of monetary gains. Medical practitioners face such conflicts almost on a daily basis. Such tussles have the potential to negatively influence patient care. Most of the medical decisions are not taken to ensure maximum benefit to the patient but to enable profits to both physicians and the pharma companies.
The trend of over prescription of opioids has been prevailing in the United States for a long time now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sales of opioids increased four times between 1999 and 2014. In 2016, approximately 11.8 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year, including 948,000 users heroin users. The number of people with an opioid use disorder (OUD) in the same age range were 2.1 million, including 153,000 adolescents. On an average, over 1,000 people are brought into emergency rooms (ERs) every day for misusing prescription opioids.
If you or your loved one is battling prescription drug addiction, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline assists in accessing the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about prescription drug abuse rehab in Colorado.