Pain Killers: The Most Common Form of Prescription Drug Abuse

January 28, 2011

in Prescription Drug Abuse

Pain killers are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in America today. They are given for almost every kind of pain from menstrual pain to pain associated with certain diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and so on. Pain killers, also known as analgesics and pain relievers, can be highly addictive, and when mixed with other drugs can lead to fatal overdoses.

Most abused pain killers

Drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, etc. are used to alleviate physical pain, while Valium and other anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed to treat panic attacks, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, and a host of other anxiety disorders. These drugs work great when used on a temporary basis, especially for people who have suffered severe injury or are recovering from surgical procedures. However, for people who are coping with severe emotional issues such as the death of a spouse, kid or even separation from one’s partner, these drugs are often misused to the level of abuse.

In a 2003 survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was revealed that around 4.7 million people in America abused over the counter prescription drugs. Around 2.5 million were reported as having misused opioids such as oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone.

Big reasons for pain killer abuse

People who are abusing pain killers find it difficult to differentiate between using as a means to cope with problems and using as a way to relieve pain. An easy way to tell if someone is abusing painkillers is to monitor the person for usage even after his or her pain is relieved. Abusers are unable to stop and may require the intervention of a professional to break the habit. The role of family members is also crucial in the prevention of drug abuse. Each member should be briefed on the prescribed use and potential dangers of pain killers, especially if the patient has a previous history of drug abuse. As for parents, pain killers and other prescription drugs should always be kept away from the reach of children and teenagers since easy access to these medications can potentially cause kids to become abusers.

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