One of the fastest growing problems in America today is the abuse of prescription drugs. In the past 10 years, the misuse of prescribed medications has skyrocketed, making it a National issue that many people are attempting to attack. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: opiates, depressants, and stimulants are the three drug classifications most commonly abused by Americans (Kendall 175). The abuse of opioids will be the main focus of this paper, however depressants and stimulants will be briefly discussed as well. A multitude of research on the subject has concluded that there is more than a single solution to the problem, involving taking immediate action as well as making prevention efforts. Looking at the
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Although the many negative effects have caused physicians to question the wide spread use of this drug, the main fuel to this problem’s fire is the drug’s addictive nature. Some medical journals have reported that “between four percent and twenty-six percent of those who take opioids for long-term pain treatment become addicted” and this addiction leads to the abuse of the drug.
Depressants and stimulants, although not as deadly as opiates, are the two other classifications of misused prescription drugs. Depressants are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. When taken for long periods of time, these drugs are addicting and can cause physical withdrawal symptoms. Stimulants are taken to help lose weight, treat sleeping disorders, and help children with ADD and ADHD. Many college students abuse this drug to help them focus for long periods of time while studying. Although these class of drugs are not nearly as fatal as opiates, causing “14,800 deaths in 2008,which is more than cocaine and heroin combined (Ardnt and Barnes 272), it is believed that they are far over prescribed and susceptible to abuse due to their addictiveness. One finger of blame for the prescription drug abuse problem is pointed at the prescribing physicians. In the early 2000’s, “there was a heightened focus on the under-treatment of pain. Healthcare providers were