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Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 2967 words Published: 29th Sep 2017

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The studies that have been conducted to understand the concepts of drug abuse have had very misconception in narrowing down the concept of addiction. The main perceptions of the studies indicated that people had very unstable nature and lacked the will power to overcome addictions. It was posed as a moral flaw in the early times when the idea had not been too clear. It was not treated as a health issue since it was not termed as such. Having moral infections was a crime and was punished in that regard. In the prevailing era our views have been changed considerably because of science. . (Volkow, 2014)

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Amazing discoveries have revolutionized the thought process and enhanced the understanding of the usages of drugs and enabled the human mind to perceive and respond to a problem. The problem is now viewed as a problem and we are now making ourselves equipped with the means to tackle it as such. The science researches are a great contribution towards the identification of addiction as a disease that seriously affects the mind and the behavior in a person. Many researches are still being conducted to identify the factors that exacerbate the effects of this disease on human beings which will be very effective in the long run. (Volkow, 2014)

What sorts of factors influence the disease most; either biological; genetic or environment factors are the main cause of the disease being progressive. This type of knowledge is used to develop preventions of the disease and provide treatments approaches that will help families and the community in the awareness of all the cause and effect factors. Even today many people do not understand the addiction concept and effects it has on a human life. Empowerment of people in terms of knowledge and basic terminology of the concept will help them and help others as well. This is a very positive step towards betterment. (Volkow, 2014)

Prescription drug abuse:

Prescribed drug abuse is becoming an addiction for many people, who use certain drugs pain relievers inconsistently. The overuse of any of the medication even the ones that have been prescribed is becoming a very serious public health issue. People use prescribed drugs responsibly however; it is believed that they must have used the medication for no disease or symptoms temporary relief reasons at least once. A survey shows that among every 12 people at least one of them is a high school student and this person has used a medicine without medical prescription as a pain reliever, another observation was that one in twenty people are using OxyContin as a drug that is being used by the youngsters. (Volkow, national institute of drug abuse, 2011)

The whole phenomenon is also referred to as substance use and its increasing frequency in the adolescent is a serious threat. Some believe that the media has the influence on the adolescent for the excessive substance use. Since a great amount of money is spent on the advertisement of such products even the drugs. There are proposals from the general entities of banning the advertisements and minimizing the children’s exposure to the substance use contents and providing education in the class rooms of the serious effects of substance use. Even the drug companies spend more on marketing their products as studies have proved that marketing pays off. What they are giving to the children is that anything can be cured with pills. (Strasburger)

Prescription drug abuse has been classified as an epidemic. The individual youngsters who are using drugs are of the belief that the drugs they are using are safe because they have been prescribed by a professional doctor and they are being delivered by a pharmacist. The addressing of the epidemic is considered necessary for the growth of a healthy economy. Only a healthy human being can make a progressive economy. It is every human beings right to live a healthier life including those people who have been exposed to substance abuse. They require treatment in order to be productive to the economy. (the white house)


Substance abuse to the degree of addiction has very severe outcomes. The young ones who are being constantly exposed in the womb are bound to be born as premature and they are also under weight. This sort of exposure is very serious and affects the newborns whole life ahead of that human being. Their development is slow in all the areas of life and the exposure also marks their behavior in the later part of their lives. The adult human being who is exposed to substance abuse face the problems of paying attention and remembering things. Their social behaviors are affected, their work performance suffers and so do their relationships. If a person who is exposed to drugs is a parent they become so violent that they start giving physical abuse to their children. (national institute of drug abuse)

Preventive measures:

The best way to prevent a problem is to create awareness and introduce the concept as a problem. Once people see it as a problem they will be motivated in the understanding of what measures should be taken or adopted to minimize the risks and optimize health. The following are a number of measures that can be adopted.

  • Educating the people inclusive of parents, youngsters and the patients who have been exposed, helping them understand the dangers of excessive use of substances and also making them see the after effects of such abuse.
  • Monitoring of the drugs that are being circulated in the market and also the monitoring of the prescriptions of drugs.
  • A check of over the counter medicine being issued with or without prescriptions.
  • The disposal of already used prescriptions from the environment so as not to be abused since they have been utilized.
  • Law enforcement with respect to the elimination of improper prescription practices so that they do not get abused.

All these are for the government and institutions who deal with the medical and nonmedical substance use victims. In order for the community to make sure their families are safe from substance abuse they should do the following:

  • In a home where you have kids and all other aged people living together you need to make sure that the prescriptions are disposed off in a very effective manner so that no one could have the means of getting exposed to substance use.
  • The parents are required to talk to their children, talk to them from time to time to make them see that they are not being exposed to the substance use.
  • Some communities have implemented the take back programs that have proved to be effective you can check if your community or a close by community is doing that certain program to get help.
  • The idea is for you to know when you need professional help in terms of treatment your role would be make sure that the ones who need treatment are provided with the treatment and are also given the proper support that they need to recover.

There are programs that the government has introduced that can help the programs partnered by the communities.

  • The community programs are designed to identify the local abuse factors and make sure that they are being prevented.
  • The national campaigns are aimed at providing people with the knowledge through the national channels and discouraging the over the counter prescription usage. (office of national drug control policy)

Pros and Cons of drug abuse:

In everyday practice it is hard for the physicians to differentiate between the people who seriously need prescription and the ones who are making a fake presentation to obtain a prescription to be used as a drug abuse. The main idea would be to identify the people who are moving among the prescribers to be prescribed of the medicine the pain killers in specific. Pain identifier is weak when it comes to the prescription of medication. There is no definitive way to verify the condition, the best the prescriber can do is to make a well informed judgment with respect to the pain killer medicine usage. A monitoring program can help in this regard identifying if the patient has already been exposed to the medication or not. (McRae, 2014)

A monitoring program for prescriptions can help in the stoppage of the illegal and fraudulent dispensing of drugs. The program to be effective requires being in the real time so that any activity that is abnormal could be taken control of effectively. Florida has used such a program and it has proved to be very effective. Its main achievement was the improvement in the prescriptions and stoppage of drug abuse because of those prescriptions. The pain killer that had a recorded abuse record in Florida dropped to a very nominal amount as the prescription drug monitoring program helped in the monitoring and control of the abuse. (McRae, 2014)

The prescription monitoring drug program needs to be up to date all the time for all the clinical and physicians who are using the program to understand the patient’s background and the prescribed dosage amounts of the drugs he/she has been using. The idea is to monitor the risks and complications that poly pharmacy can expose a patient to. To have a clinical judgment on the aspect is very important to secure the patients. The health professional that have a real time data that can be accessed anytime helps provide a patient focused approach to address substance abuse. The real time data is an efficient approach since it does not require lab experiments on the urine or blood tests of the patient. (McRae, 2014)

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The best way is to make sure that the patient has the knowledge of the prescription drug monitoring program so that they do not feel offended that their information is being shared over a network. In order to keep good relations with the patients it is important that they are made aware of the database for their own convenience so that they provide effective and efficient information. The best way to tackle the situation would be to make them understand the health issues they may encounter once they are exposed to drug abuse. There must be genuine cases where the patient is completely unaware that he/she has been exposed to drug abuse in some very rare cases. The program is designed to make sure that the risk of over usage of pain killers known as the Opioid is turned to a minimum inclusive of the fact that it draws out the potential victims as well. (McRae, 2014)

The program is really effective as the database is fully equipped with the patient’s treatment and medicine history and running the whole thing in real time. A study was conducted in Ohio that showed that by using the real time data and reviewing the already prescribed medications of the patient in the history of the prescription of the patient reduced the fact that they have been over dosed with Opiods. Some of the patients had been overdosed in the results of the study that was not the initial plan for them in medication. The drug monitoring programs contain a great deal of information with respect to the demographics where over usage is a great risk. (McRae, 2014)

All that information can be used to develop preventive measure or the change of prescriptions that will help in the improvement of the patients. The data can also be used to identify the areas geographically that require immediate attention with respect to the misuse of the Opiod drugs. The identification will help in the introduction of preventions in the area and also help in the focused interventions of the communities that require attention and help. The reach of such monitoring can help prevent beyond the normal ranges based on the data and how it is evaluated. The more focused the area the better preventive policies. (McRae, 2014)

All this control and monitoring is also causing some side effects to the given situation. Something as the isolation chill effect. Since all the scope is created that over usage is bad and can cause serious legal holdings. The notion has made problems in the perception so great that there are issues of substitute medication usage and the under prescription of medication instead of the proper prescription. Some of the substitutes being used are of inferior quality and do not address the main human relief system but instead they cause more pain and side effects. This is a great deal of concern as the problem is not being addressed and there are excessive problems being generated instead of zero downing the effects of the first issue. (McRae, 2014)

There may be patients who are not overdosed but are seeking proper medication but the fear of them being overdosed they are being exposed to substitutes. The patient can have serious trouble getting the right prescription as they are being constantly monitored they might be afraid of being the target of coming under law. It is a great deal of concern among patients. The monitoring programs are strict but there are some patients who require a high dosage to feel the relief. The monitoring programs could build a pressure on the physicians and the patients and the information they get can turn out to be vague because of the pressure. (McRae, 2014)

The database injectors are just doing their job the parameters set for the program are a set of instructions being followed by the computer program. The system is not a certain judge of the fact that there may be patients who are wrongly characterized by the system as over prescribed patients. Even the physicians are not fully equipped sometimes to make the judgment and might require training in order to identify prescription drug abuse and also the signs of drug distraction. Data leakage is a great concern among the systems usage both by the physicians and also the patients. Drug abuse has been the cause of many law suits and the health care is in such an influence from the law agencies that it seems that the law agencies are operating the health care. (McRae, 2014)


It is concluded that even though we have health issues that need attention but the excessive monitoring can have serious drawbacks. We all need to feel comfortable in order to be healthy. What is the point of being so goal driven that we end up being under the sharp hawk eyes of the law all the time. Where is the freedom and fun in that? In light of the above stated facts, it is obvious that sometimes we just need to let go of a few things in terms of the law, too much restrictions can help solve a problem but it can cause other major health problems. What of the people who die because of the under dose of a particular medication that could have saved their life. Some part of the whole system needs to be a little more lenient.


McRae, M. M. (2014, 08 16). BMC pharmacy and toxicology. Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.biomedcentral.com/: http://www.biomedcentral.com/2050-6511/15/46

national institute of drug abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/introduction

office of national drug control policy. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse

Strasburger, V. C. (n.d.). American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/4/791.full

the white house. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse

Volkow, N. D. (2011, 10). national institute of drug abuse. Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/director

Volkow, N. D. (2014, 07). national institute on drug abuse. Retrieved 10 18, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/preface


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