Many of Americans have been diagnosed with chronic pain. In fact according to the Institute of Medicine 116 million United States adults live with chronic pain. The majority of these adults do not seem to receive the adequate treatment needed to help them to cope or to treat their pain. This is primarily due to the physicians not being able to efficiently diagnose their patients, and or the physicians lack the knowledge of the best ways to help manage the pain their patients are experiencing. This is why most people believe that Physicians are the main cause for the rise of prescription drug abuse (Garcia, 2013).
Between the years of 1999 and 2010 the amount of prescription painkillers that were sold to the pharmacies, hospitals, and the doctor offices nearly quadrupled. This means that physicians are prescribing four times more pain medications than they did 11 years ago. The amounts of overdoses caused by painkillers tripled in the years of 1999 thru 2008. Painkiller overdoses in the United States play a significant part in the morbidity and mortality rates, and is considered to be a public health problem (Garcia, 2013). Each year for the past eight years doctors have prescribed over 200 million prescriptions for pain killers and compared that to the number of adults in this country at only being 240, 000 (Wood, 2014).
The mass majority of people point fingers only at physicians and dentists and want to blame them and only them for the prescription drug problem. A study that was done in 2010 showed that 12 million Americans ranging from 12 years of age and older reported that they have abused prescription pain killers within the last year (Garcia, 2013). Majority of doctors would not prescribe 12 year old painkillers unless they have a major illness or has undergone a serious surgery. Studies show that in most cases where young teens try out prescription painkillers the children find these drugs in the medicine cabinets in their own homes, their grandparent’s homes, or they get them from a friend who has access to the pills in their own homes (Wood, 2014). In these particular cases the children choose to try out the painkillers, and no doctor prescribed them to the children.
There are also cases where one has a surgery or medical procedure and gets prescribed pain medication, because they legitimately need it to help with their pain from their procedure, and they decide that they like the feeling that they get while taking the pain medicine. The feeling one gets when they take pain medicine while they are not in pain can make one want to always feel that way. Taking painkillers can cause dreamy feelings. One relates that feeling with the suppressed emotions that they feel while on the painkillers and then they start to chase that feeling. This is another way that people get drawn in by painkillers and can be the start of their addiction (Wood, 2014).
When people become addicted to painkillers they will do anything to achieve that high...