View Single Post
Old 21 December 2017, 08:01 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,366

I've been mostly reassured by the things posted in this thread that the magnitude of the problem is mostly not being overstated. I think some of the details, like what the connection is between prescribed drugs and addiction, are being misrepresented at times. Sometimes drastically.

The large majority of opioid addicts did not become addicted from using prescribed medication as directed for a medical condition, and then being unable to stop taking it. From the study I posted earlier, 75% of addicts got their first dose from friends, relatives, or a dealer. And 90% already had problems with addiction. And of course the drugs people are overdosing on as identified in the article just posted--heroin and fentanyl--are not being obtained by people going to the doctor and getting a prescription.

There may be reason to suggest that doctors perhaps should prescribe fewer pain pills at a time, and to educate people about (1) not filling prescriptions they won't use, (2) getting rid of unused prescription medication, and (3) not giving prescription medications to others, but this problem is not primarily being caused by doctors prescribing ordinary opioid pain meds to people who have medical conditions. It is primarily a problem of addicts turning to prescription medication, and being able to divert it from legitimate channels in various ways, and of people using an illegal drug.

From my understanding of the problem, it seems to me that getting a prescription for a small amount of pain medicine should be/stay relatively easy. This helps prevent a hoarding mentality for people who don't misuse it. The amount prescribed at a time should probably be reduced so that there is less chance of "extra" medication being diverted, and more contact with the doctor for someone who is using more medication. And, as I mentioned, education.

Also, much more study into what causes addiction, since it seems like a certain portion of the population may be much more prone to it.

Last edited by erwins; 21 December 2017 at 08:12 PM.
Reply With Quote