Prescription pain killers and medications are becoming a leading cause of death in the common American household. Although the U.S. takes up a mere 5% of the world’s population, we consume at least 3/4 of the world’s prescription drugs. Yes, thats a lot of prescription drug abuse. Don’t get confused, however, not all of us on medication are victims of prescription drug abuse. But what about the doctors giving us the drugs? What do they have to say for themselves about the rising number of prescription drug deaths in America?
Prescription Drug Abuse, Who is to Blame?
The U.S. is metaphorically drowning in prescription drugs. Not only are we heavy drug users, but we can commonly be seen as corrupt. This also comes into play when speaking about the medical system. Doctor-patient confidentiality is the barrier between knowing the truth and suspecting corruption.
A doctor is meant to treat illness, disease and complications. These complications can either be physical or mental, and, depending on their practice, a doctor can easily turn towards prescription drugs as a solution. When a patient steps into a doctor’s office, the confidentiality rules come into play. Now, we are not saying that the medical system is corrupt, but we are saying that, as patients, we put a lot of trust into our doctors. We rely on them to treat and fix us under any means necessary.
Not everyone is comfortable with sharing information about their prescription drugs. We don’t blame them as it can be a touchy and personal subject, and doctors can’t share that information with us either unless told so by the patient. With that being said we have no idea which patient or which doctor is receiving prescription drugs. Nor do we know what the treatment is for. It could be some Suboxone for opiate abuse, or Vicodin for back pain and aches. These in themselves are strong medications that have a high potential of causing addiction. How are we know whether or not there drugs are necessary for us? We aren’t the doctors here.
Get out the Pen and Pad
Women involuntarily play a major role in this epidemic. They consume more than half of the prescriptions drugs in America, and a huge amount of those meds are prescribed antidepressants or other depression-related medications.
Prescription drug use has increase by 4 from the year of 1999 to 2008, and the numbers continue to rise. Over $250 billion was spent on prescription drugs in recent years.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Now, just because the numbers are telling us a compelling story of the prescription drug abuse epidemic, it doesn’t mean that doctors are to blame. At the end of the day, their main goal and drive is to get their patients in better condition than they are when they initially stepped into the office. We can’t vouch for every doctor being a good person, but they are supposed to be looking out for our well being. The numbers, however, do not lie, and the epidemic is growing quickly as the years pass.
While more and more continue to use prescription drugs, deaths in the U.S. are commonly becoming prescription drug related. While prescription drugs are not the only way to go, they have become a staple in modern U.S. medical treatment.