20 March 2014
During the summer of 2013, I committed my time to learning the fundamentals of being a clinical pharmacist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. From the time I spent there, I knew that I wanted to practice medicine at the professional level. As an intern, I spent a lot of time shadowing different pharmacists and observing how they deal with the many staff members in the hospital. Whether it is with a physician, pharmacy technician, patient, or another pharmacist, the pharmacist would always deal with them in a professional manner. I learned that drug overdosing was a major problem and cause of deaths in the United States of America. Although I have never thought of drug overdosing as a problem in a developed and highly literate country such as the US, there have been many articles CBS News that support this fact.
On February 10, 2014, CBS News reported "Julia Roberts' half sister was found dead of apparent drug overdose." Nancy Motes, who was thirty-seven years old, was found dead Sunday in Los Angeles. According to the coroner, prescription and non-prescription drugs were found at the scene (CBSNews.com). Shortly after I came across this unfortunate news, there was another article stating from January 1 through 13, 22 people had died of apparent accidental overdoses, a dramatic spike, as reported by Health Director Michael D. Fine (Freyer and Arditi). The list continues with articles reporting large numbers of deaths from drug overdosing.
When one receives a prescribed drug at a local pharmacy, the individual may believe it to be fun and games until he/she decides to consume a larger quantity than instructed. From there, the drug can harm the individual and possibly kill him/her. Drug overdosing is described as the application of using a drug in larger quantities than recommended. Drug overdoses may result in an individual being severely harmed and/or killed if not properly dealt with. "In 2010, 30,006 (78%) of the 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional" (CDC.gov). Is it possible for such a statistic when the recommended quantity is written clearly on the label? Drug overdosing is an issue that has not been addressed as an issue of high importance often, and because it has not, people are not aware of the issue.
Why are there so many incidents regarding drug overdose in the first place if these drugs are supposed to serve as relievers to our sicknesses? According to Felice J. Freyer and Lynn Arditi, “the rate of overdose deaths has tripled nationwide since 1990. And since 2009, overdoses have been the top cause of death by unintentional injury — ahead of motor vehicle accidents” (Providencejournal.com). Not only is it shocking that the article states the rate of deaths has surpassed motor vehicle accidents, but they are also unintentional. If these deaths are unintentional, then there has to be another logical explanation to...