Prescription Drugs and Drug Abuse in the United States Essays

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With access to prescription drugs, people are able to treat a multitude of diseases and illnesses. These drugs help deal with pain, inability to sleep, depression, and much more. Every day we are increasingly living in a world where there is better living through chemicals. However, what most do not seem to see is the rising tide of pain, illness, and ultimately death being caused by the pills people take every day. Most keep drugs in a special place in their minds, where they see them as harmless. Sadly, this is not the case, and in some cases our prescription drugs can be just as harmful as illegal drugs (King 68).

In addition, these drugs are just as addicting as some of the drugs that most hold to be off-limits, and need to be regarded as such (Hemphill 220). The effect these drugs have on us change depending on different circumstances, be it food eaten, other drugs taken, or even age or gender (Brewer 10). The effects these cause can be fatal (CDC). In fact, the overdose death rate has increased five-fold since the 1980s, and is only increasing (CDC).

When it comes to opioid drugs, the most effective pain medication, Rice from Pain Medicine had this to say: “Americans now consume 80% of the world’s prescription opioid supply despite comprising only 5% of its population” (Rice 1162). These drugs are too easily accessible, for both adults and children alike, and some of the best anti-overdose drugs - such as naloxone, which will come up later - are high in demand and have jumped significantly in price as a result. Teenage accessibility to opioid products specifically is a reason why youth abuse is becoming a problem (Hemphill 220). While nearly 10% of youth use these over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to get high, many more use t...

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...ce, And Misuse.” Pain Medicine 13.9 (2012): 1162-1173. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Soares-Bezerra, Rômulo José, et al. “Natural Products As A Source For New Anti-Inflammatory And Analgesic Compounds Through The Inhibition of Purinergic P2X Receptors.” Pharmaceuticals 6.6 (2013): 650-658. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Sirohi, S., S. V. Dighe, P. A. Madia, and B. C. Yoburn. "The Relative Potency of Inverse Opioid Agonists and a Neutral Opioid Antagonist in Precipitated Withdrawal and Antagonism of Analgesia and Toxicity." Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 330.2 (2009): 513-19. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Talbott, Katherine, and Nancy Talbott. “The Use of Over-The-Counter Medications Among High School Females.” International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society 1.2 (2011): 115-127. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

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