Free Prescription Drug Abuse: Easily Accepted Research Paper Example
Since the 1980’s, we have been fighting what has been coined the War on Drugs in America. Drug sales and addiction have reached into the big cities and the rural country areas. No one is immune from the effect of drugs, as people either suffer from an addiction or know someone who has. Many people are familiar with drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana; although these drugs are still an issue there is a change in what drugs are popular that is affecting our country. More people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs due to the wide availability and easier acceptance in our communities.
In 2014 surveys were done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These surveys asked senior in high school what drugs they had used in the past year. Unsurprisingly, the highest used drug among high school seniors was Marijuana (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.). What is more surprising the second highest used drug, Adderall (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.). In fact, of the top 14 drugs used by high school seniors, seven were pharmaceuticals (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.). It is not just youth prescription drugs are affecting. In 2013, 4.8 percent of adults 26 and older admitted to abusing prescription drugs in the past year (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.). 2.1 percent of adults 26 and older had abused prescription drugs in the past month (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.).
Prescription drug use is increasing for several reasons. Prescription drugs, especially opiates, are being prescribed more than ever (The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic, n.d.). It is easier to doctor shop until one finds a doctor to prescribe what they want (The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic, n.d.). In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 adults legally used at least one prescription drug in the past month (Gu, Dillon, & Burt, 2010). Spending on prescription drugs doubled between 1999 and 2008 (Gu, Dillon, & Burt, 2010). This kind of prevalence in prescription use makes it easier for addicts to get the drugs. Also, for people who are professionals, parents, or other positions like that, using prescription drugs does not have the taboo that illegal drugs do.
In order to help reduce prescription drug abuse, there have been various laws passed. In 2011 President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy had an addition added called the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.). This addition added four elements including education, monitoring, proper medication disposal and enforcement (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.). They want to increase education about appropriate use, proper storage and prescription drug disposal (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.). Increasing monitoring in all the states will help reduce doctor shopping (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.). Giving people an easy way to properly dispose of old prescriptions helps reduce the likelihood of a prescription being stolen (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.). Finally, giving law enforcement the necessary tools to stop pill mills (Prescription Drug Abuse, n.d.).
With new laws in place helping to reduce prescription drug abuse, there are also new legal ramifications. Of course, many people abuse pharmaceuticals through legal prescriptions. These people may not be subject to normal legalities, but they are more likely to be in accidents. People who steal prescriptions are subject to theft laws. Also, many places have laws about illegally carrying someone else’s prescriptions and minimum sentences are similar to possession of street drugs.
Although we have spent over 30 years fighting the war on drugs, very little headway has been made. As newer and better drugs are being made legally in the form of pharmaceuticals, it seems unlikely drug abuse is going to stop any time soon. Given the wide acceptance of prescription drug use, there is not sufficient deterrent for prescription drug abusers to curb their use. Instead, prescription drug abuse will probably continue to rise.
Gu, Q., Dillon, C., & Burt, V. (2010, September 2). NCHS Data Brief. Retrieved April 5, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db42.htm
National Institute on Drug Abuse. High School and Youth Trends Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends on April 4, 2015
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Prescription Drugs & Cold Medicines Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/prescription-drugs-cold-medicines on April 4, 2015
Prescription Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse
The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from http://www.pdmpexcellence.org/drug-abuse-epidemic
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