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Baby Boomers And Prescription Drugs Essay

902 words - 4 pages

In the U.S there has been an increase in the use of prescription drugs; it has tripled since 1990 (CDC, 2013). The incidence of prescription drug abuse, defined as the use of the medication in other methods than was prescribed, has lead to a deadly epidemic. Twelve million people reported that they have used prescription drugs non- medically (CDC, 2013). The people that used prescription drug non –medically get them from their friends, bought them off the street, stole them from a relative, or took more than they were prescribed (CDC, 2013). Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal street drugs when misused. Prescription drug abuse is responsible for 475,000 emergency departments’ visits a year (CDC, 2013). It has become easier for people to obtain prescription drugs. Prescription drug sales, especially opioid pain relievers have been increasing over the years. In 2010 the amount of opioid pain relievers sold could medicate every adult in the U.S (CDC, 2011). The increase in the sale distribution is also increasing rates of drug overdose, and prescription misuses. Prescription drug use overall has increased over the years because many people think that because doctors prescribe the medication it is safe (Volkow, 2011). Contributing factors to this problem include people who take more than prescribed, misunderstand the directions on prescriptions, and sharing their medication thinking that there is nothing wrong with that. Another contributing factor as to why it has become a problem is because much of prescription drug abuse goes undetected because it is not a high police priority. The problem associated with prescription drug abuse is the fact that not many people seek treatment. Levi, Segal, and Miller (2013) stated that only one in then Americans who abuse prescription drugs receives treatment. Many people do not seek treatment for varies reasons, because they might not know they have a problem, they do not know where to get the help, or they might be ashamed of the problem. Also, there are certain prescription drugs that are abused more, and it affects different demographics. When people think about drug users they do not typically picture their grandparents. However, younger people are not the only one that abuse and misuse prescription drugs.
In 2012 there were approximately 79 million people living in the U.S who were born between 1946-1964 (Pruchno, 2012). The people that were born between those years are called baby boomers. It is estimated that by 2030 one out of five people will be 65 or older
( Levi-Minzi, Surratt, Kurtz, & Buttram, 2013). The baby boomers generation is reaching their 50s 60s and older, they make up 13% of the population. But they receiver one third of all prescription drugs (American...

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