The Misuse Of Prescription Drugs In Brave New World By Aldous Huxley

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The misuse of prescription drugs is the leading cause of deaths by drug overdose, outnumbering the amount of deaths from both cocaine and heroin (“Policy Impact”). In a time span of only ten years, the milligram-per-person use of prescription drugs in the United States increased from 74 milligrams to 369 milligrams, a staggering 402% increase (Barnes). In the novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley illustrates a society that is dependent upon drugs to stimulate euphoric feelings. Huxley’s vision of the pursuit of happiness through drugs, in his science fiction dystopian novel, is very close to that of modern American society and can be seen through the rise of prescription drug use.
Soma, in Brave New World, is a drug that is described as "Euphoric,
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It is carried around in a bottle full of tablets at all times to serve ones needs. Considering that soma is in such high demand, the government organizes a soma distribution where people of the society line up to get their pill boxes. The passage, “The days soma ration…they get it after their works over. Four half-gramme tablets. Six on Saturdays” (Huxley 151; ch.11) clearly shows that soma is just handed out like it is candy, one can very easily get a hold of a few pills from anyone or anywhere. Likewise, prescription drugs in modern American society are accordingly accessible. According to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., “It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012…” she acknowledges the rise of misuse prescription drugs. This increased number of people abusing prescription medication is primarily due to having easy access to them. Persons seeking a “high” from prescription drugs may have friends or family members that are sick and are willing to provide them with the narcotics for free. If the friends or family members deny them access to the drug for any reason, then that person will steal to satisfy their needs to avoid reality and escape to a happier, more appealing state of mind. This is oftentimes compared to a “heaven” as a result of the good feelings that come along with abusing drugs. Another way that people get drugs is to fake an injury or illness and go to a doctor so they are prescribed a medication under false pretenses. However, gaining access to a few grams of soma is much easier than being able to get a few grams of prescribed medication because one could possibly get into a lot of legal trouble if they were caught illicitly obtaining prescribed

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