Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Prescription Drug Epidemic

Throughout the years certain drugs or substances seem to gain popularity. In the 1900s and through the prohibition era, alcohol became public enemy number one. In the 1930s marijuana was considered the supreme evil and we saw the production of propaganda movies such as Reefer Madness. In the 1960s there was the psychedelic Age of Aquarius and everyone in the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco seemed to being using LSD or other types of mind altering drugs. The 1970s ushered in the era of Studio 54 in New York and powder cocaine and heroin. The cocaine use of the 1970s led to creation of crack cocaine and the war on drugs in the 1980s. In the 1990s and into the 2000s designer drugs such as ecstasy and speed were the go to drug of club kids.   

Now we are faced with a new drug epidemic, the prescription drug.  Prescription drugs can be legal and prescribed by a family physician. This fact in and of itself makes prescription drugs scarier and deadlier than drugs of the past. This epidemic has been bolstered by the creation of online pharmacies which make it easy for people to receive prescription drugs without a prescription. Many of these online pharmacies are located in Canada and Mexico so their distribution laws are different than that of the United States.  From 2005 to 2006 772 people in the State of Florida died of prescription drug overdose. Of those 772 deaths 645 of those deaths were accidental. Compare those numbers to 2009 where there were 1,185 deaths from prescription drugs. The main prescriptions causing death are oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. If you have a prescription drug addiction call us to discuss your treatment options.

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