Shame, guilt, fear and overwhelming need and dependency are all part of this silent addiction. This silent epidemic is everywhere. There is no state that’s untouched by this addiction. I read an article recently on an Oklahoma News site and the headline said “Oklahoma drug-related deaths may hit a high”.
In 2009 drug related deaths were at the highest the state had ever seen according to a spokes-person. It went on to say that drugs killed 452 people in the state from January to September according to the autopsy reports. They were referring to prescription drug deaths.
Prescription Drugs accounted for about 83% of the drug related deaths by themselves and by combining them with alcohol or street drugs. The most abused prescription drugs are Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. Many people take these drugs legitimately from their doctors for pain and in a short time, become dependent on them while others ‘doctor shop’ to feed their addiction.
Oxycontin is viewed now as one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States. Not only can you take them orally, but they can be crushed and snorted or dissolved and injected. People are making a killing on the streets selling this stuff. This blew me away, legally sold Lortab cost about $6 for an 80 milligram tablet and they are sold on the streets for $80. People are not only addicted but going in debt and some are stealing just to feed this addiction.
There is a major change in prescription drug abusers now. This addiction is hitting people from every walk of life. Hard working mothers, fathers, college students and businessmen and women. Due to injuries, pain medication is prescribed just so the person can heal and function. In this day and age a person still has to work to take care of themselves and their families. Medications such as Vicodin are necessary just to function.
We can only hope that if enough information and statistics gets out there and reaches the general public everywhere, people will realize just how dangerous prescription drugs can be. The Bureau of Narcotics has a monitoring system set up that can allow doctor’s, pharmacists, veterinarians and law enforcement into a database that can help track these addictive prescriptions that are given to patients. But, they have to register to use this monitoring program. To me, they have to take just as much responsibility as the patient.
Many young children and teens have a parent or relative that abuses prescription drugs so there is no fear associated with this addiction. We need to educate our children in schools and at home about the dangers and effects of all drug abuse whether the drugs are legal or not. We all want our children to be able to read write and understand math, but we also want them to live long enough to do it. This is not going to change over night, but it can’t stop being talked about either.