Long-term Use of Prescription Drugs And Opioid Abuse

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The incidence of irresponsible use of prescription drugs – mostly for recreational and selfmedication purposes – has been abnormally high in the United States, which is showing in the form of the never-ending opioid epidemic. This has led to a drastic shift in the role of prescription drugs from pain management medication to drug of abuse.

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www.prescriptiondrugabusehelpline.com Long-term Use of Prescription Drugs and Opioid Abuse The incidence of irresponsible use of prescription drugs – mostly for recreational and self- medication purposes – has been abnormally high in the United States which is showing in the form of the never-ending opioid epidemic. This has led to a drastic shift in the role of prescription drugs from pain management medication to drug of abuse. Because pharmaceutical-grade opioids are highly potent patients taking these for weeks or months are likely to develop increased tolerance toward such drugs. Once a person becomes dependent on opioids he or she may be tempted to self-administer a higher dose to relieve pain. However doing so ultimately sets them onto the path of addiction. In the light of the worsening of the opioid crisis the Trump administration declared it a public health emergency in August 2017. The measure was an attempt to push federal funding for the treatment of opioid addiction. Earlier in a previous major initiative to tackle the drug menace the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC had in 2016 issued fresh guidelines recommending physicians to prescribe opioids for chronic pain only after other options were exhausted. Other recommendations include prescribing opioid medications for a shorter duration and in lower dosages. Jump in long-term prescription opioid use A study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology Drug Safety found that the use of prescription opioids had abruptly risen between 1999 and 2014. Apparently patients taking their medications for 90 days or longer were responsible for this stark increase. While less than half of the people on prescription opioids were taking them for 90 days or more in 1999- 2000 it increased to 70 percent by 2013-2014. The study compiled data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey NHANES conducted every two years by the National Center for Health Statistics NCHS. All the eight consecutive biannual surveys entailing a total of 47356 adult participants reported

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www.prescriptiondrugabusehelpline.com that issues such as back pain arthritis and other joint pain were the main reason behind increased use of prescription opioids. Other key findings of the study are as follows:  Prescription opioid use: It increased from 4.1 percent in 1999-2000 to 6.8 percent in 2013-2014 witnessing an overall increase of 60 percent.  Long-term prescription opioid use: Defined as using prescription opioids for 90 days or more it increased from 1.8 percent in 1999-2000 to 5.4 percent in 2013-2014.  Addiction and overdose associated with long-term use: It increased threefold during the study’s timeframe.  Heroin and benzodiazepines abuse: The long-term use of prescription opioids was associated with an increased likelihood of indulgence in other drugs such as heroin and benzodiazepines. When taken with even the moderate amounts of prescription opioids these drugs result in respiratory suppression overdose and death. Overall the long-term use of opioid medications was more common among participants on Medicaid and Medicare compared to those insured by private insurance groups. According to Ramin Mojtabai M.D. Ph.D. M.P.H. a professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School and the study author “What’s especially concerning is the jump in long- term prescription opioid use since it’s linked to increased risks for all sorts of problems including addiction and overdoses. The study also found that long-term use was associated with heroin use as well as the concurrent use of benzodiazepines a class of widely prescribed drugs that affect the central nervous system.” The study emphasizes that the long-term use of prescription opioids is associated with a higher likelihood of opioid addiction. There are considerable risks of using prescription medications especially when combined with other drugs and alcohol. Choose holistic treatment to embrace sobriety Although hundreds of millions of prescription opioids are written every year there has been no significant reduction in the number of people reporting pain. Because opioids are highly addictive in nature it is a challenging task to quit these drugs due to various problems such as severe withdrawal cravings and relapse. If you or your loved one is battling prescription drug abuse it is imperative to seek help. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline can assist in accessing one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-450-1557 today.

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