If your doctor prescribed painkillers then you need to hear the eye-opening news about opoids.
Opioids (medications that relieve pain) have become one of the most abused drugs in the country. Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center decided to investigate the truth behind prescription pain killers after it surfaced that more than 52 million people over the age of 12 are taking the medication.
The researchers investigated precisely how pain killers are made available to people. They made some shocking discoveries.
“The bulk of opioid prescriptions are distributed by the large population of general practitioners,” said Dr. Jonathan Chen, the study’s lead author. “Being a physician myself, I am acutely aware of the emotional angst that can occur when deciding whether to prescribe opioids to a patient who may have simultaneously developed a chronic pain and substance-dependence problem.”
You can read all about the study in this press release. But to let you in on the research, the team at Stanford University examined claims for prescription medication made since 2013. Their aim was to reveal the truth: that doctors are overprescribing opioids.
The researchers discovered that many general practitioners are intentionally overprescribing the medication. They discovered that 10 percent of opioid prescribers accounted for 57 percent of opioid prescriptions and 63 percent of all types of drug prescriptions. Bear that in mind if your doctor prescribed painkillers.
This news is particularly concerning because of the nature of opioids, which serve to reduce the brain’s interpretation of pain signals. This makes them highly addictive. It also means that they are one of the main drugs that the phrmaceutical industry sells. More than $3 billion are made through sales of opioids every year. And there is mounting evidence that shows that not only are opioids addictive but highly dangerous too.
About 45 people a day, more than 16,600 people a year, die from overdoses of the drugs, including methadone, morphine, and oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen (Lortab and Vicodin). And for every death, more than 30 others are admitted to the emergency room.
There is a very real chance that someone you know has been given opioids that they do not need to take. They may be at risk of becoming addicted and they should know that an overdose on opioids can potentially be fatal.
So, here are the facts about opioids and pain killers :
If your doctor presribed painkillers they’re not alone. Doctors are over prescribing opioids across the country.
$3 billion is made on opioids every year
Opioids are highly addictive
Use of opioids can potentially be fatal.
Has your doctor prescribed painkillers? If so, what to make of this news? Leave a comment.