Prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic in the United States, and for very good reason. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, prescription painkillers kill more than two of the hardest illicit drugs, heroin and cocaine, combined. Prescription drug deaths make up a large majority of drug overdose deaths in the United States.
Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In 2010, there were over 16,000 deaths due to painkiller use in the country. And according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, of the 47,055 fatal drug overdoses in 2014, 18,893 overdose deaths were attributed to prescription drug deaths. Despite the crackdown on illegal pill mills in the United States over the last several years, prescription opioids continue to be a major health crisis in the nation. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, 51.8% of the drug overdose deaths in the United States were attributed to prescription drugs. These shocking statistics demonstrate how dangerous these legal prescription drugs prove to be.
Individuals who abuse prescription painkillers like Percocet and Vicodin continue to take larger and larger doses to achieve a more euphoric high, but such larges doses can stop one’s breathing, resulting in death. The United States has made some progress in recent years on cracking down on prescription drug abuse, which has lead many addicts to turn to heroin — a cheaper, and more easily attainable alternative. The CDC proposes that the answer lies in preventing Americans from becoming addicted to opiates in general, by educating all segments of society, including the medical professional.
Are you or a loved one struggling with an addiction to opiates? If so, the time to seek addiction help is now. Recreate Life Counseling Services can help you or your loved one receive the help you need to overcome your addiction to drugs and alcohol. Call us today for help. Recovery is possible.