Prescription drug abuse is destroying this country. It is the worst case of drug abuse and addiction in the history of this country. Some of this problem is due to the drugs on the black market, but a significant percentage of prescription drugs on the streets are prescribed by licensed physicians. Some of this is an inability to detect an addiction, overprescribing, benefits from using a certain medication for doctors and clear negligence. It is important that something is done about this to reduce the effects of prescription drug abuse and addiction.
Nationwide Problem with Addiction and Prescription Drugs
Some of the most recent studies indicate that nearly 40 million Americans can be classified as addicts. What is even more frightening is that twice as many abuse tobacco, alcohol, drugs and prescription medications. Less than ten percent of addicts in the country get the treatment that they require for their addiction. Latest definitions of addiction state that it is a chronic, recurring brain disorder(some use the term disease) that is characterized by chronic drug searching and consuming; even when the danger and destruction is understood by the individual abusing the drugs. Most other Americans with chronic disorders/disease receive regular treatment. Research has shown that a simple questionnaire regarding alcohol consumption, requiring at least two tests, can detect substance abuse and addiction. Quick primary care physician questions can help to reduce the rising tide of substance abuse and addiction. The frequency with which Americans seek regular treatment for everyday ailments could, if these questions/screenings were conducted, help to reduce the amount of substance abuse issues in the United States.
Lack of Adequate Training
One of the main reasons that primary care physicians are failing addicts today is due to a lack of adequate training. The problem and concept of addiction is not a topic that physicians must scrutinize over during their training. Due to this fact, most physicians are not skilled enough to detect the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. The best way to combat substance abuse and addiction is to prevent it. Detecting a problem with substance abuse can increase the chances of a potential addict getting help and addressing the issue. Before physicians no it, their patient is addicted to drugs, alcohol or the prescription medications that they recommended. To make the situation worse, most physicians are unaware of what treatment options are available to their patients. Some are unfamiliar with how these facilities work or do not understand the twelve step process of recovery. When training is available it is not mandatory.
Irresponsible Prescribing Practices
Prescription drugs are the leading cause of addiction in the United States today. Big pharmaceutical companies advertise constantly and promise comfort and relief from pain. Primary care physicians provide these medications to patients, so they provide some solace to their patients. The problem with this practice is that it can become irresponsible. Some physicians even prescribe drugs to make a profit for themselves. The government is quickly beginning to crack down on this practice. Addicts can be difficult to deal with and are impressively crafty. Chronic pain should be treated with long-term painkiller prescriptions because the adverse effects of these drugs can lead to abuse and addiction. Alternative methods of treatment should be utilized.
There are some different training courses that doctors can take to improve their ability to detect someone who is abusing drugs. These courses, however, are not mandatory. Doctors are not required to continue ongoing training for addiction detection. Advocates of this program believe it could have a lasting effect on the prescription drug abuse problem in this country.