Codeine, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax, and Valium. All common painkillers that many people may have stocked in their medicine cabinet. Have you looked at what is in your medicine cabinet lately? How easily do your children and their friends have access to it? According to a new study out of Brandeis University, "Prescription opioid painkillers are responsible for more fatal overdoses in the U.S, more than heroin and cocaine combined."
So, where does the line get drawn between appropriate use and addiction to prescription pain medications? The NIDA defines prescription drug abuse as "the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes." Across the country, people continually abuse the use of prescription drugs and it could be happening in your own home. According to the CDC, "In a period of nine months, a tiny Kentucky county of fewer than 12,000 people sees a 53 year old mother, her 35 year old son, and seven others die by overdosing on pain medications obtained from pain clinics in Florida. In Utah, a 13-year old fatally overdoses on Oxycontin pills taken from a friend's grandmother. A 20-year old Boston man dies from an overdose of methadone, only a year after his friend also died from a prescription overdose."
Just looking at the facts you can see why the Obama Administration released a report in 2011, noting that "Prescription drug abuse is the Nation's fastest growing drug problem," labeling the problem an "epidemic." Perhaps the problem with this every increasing epidemic is the lack of education and the lack of awareness of what prescription items you may very well have in your own medicine cabinet. How easily it seems to be for kids and people to access to these sorts of prescriptions. So what is being done? Starting in February cities like New York are taking action to fight these uphill battle that is sweeping the nation. In a recent article written by syracuse.com, "Central New Yorkers with prescriptions for Vicodin and other painkillers containing hydrocodine will not be able to get them refilled starting Saturday unless they go to their doctor for a new prescription. The change is required by the state's new I STOP law, designed to address the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and addition sweeping Central New York and the rest of the nation."
Keeping yourself educated on the medications that you or your loved ones are prescribed with the proper dosage is imparitive. Make sure to dispose of old prescriptions that are no longer needed. Having knowledge of what is in your home and communicating with loved ones such as children that may see items such as these as toys or candy.
If you or someone you know seems to have a problem or is in denial of a problem with prescription drugs, please have no hesitation to be active and do something before it escalates or becomes too late. Footprints of Serenity's Intervention Services advocates this knowledge to you or your loved ones during the Intervention process with hopes that extending knowledge may assist in benefiting you or your loved ones throughout their journey through treatment and into aftercare. Footprints of Serenity promotes that addiction is a family disease due to the fact that the addict or alcoholic's actions not only affect themselves, but as well everyone around them. Our dedicated team of experts will guide the client, as well as family and friends not be aware of what actions may trigger, enable or even cripple their loved one in recovery. If you or your loved one needs assistance for alcohol or substance abuse we are hear to start their journey into a path of recovery. Call 213-80-SOBER or Request A Call at your convenience.
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