Is it possible that we’re hearing too much about prescription drug abuse? Whether it’s in celebrity magazines, nightly news, newspapers or the sheer number of articles written about this subject on online news sites as well as their social media pages, these types of drugs are certainly making headlines and in the opinion of many health experts, doctors and special interest groups there needs to be even more awareness before any solution can truly be labeled as effective, but with top medical organizations claiming that these types of drugs are causing an epidemic across North America, there are a growing number of calls for someone to act decisively to end this fast growing trend. With new statistics presenting themselves to us everyday, it seems that in one particular case in the Journal of the American Medical Association 67.8 percent of emergency room visits for overdose in 2010 were caused by prescription painkillers and their subsequent abuse. In another finding by the Lose Angeles Times, pain reliever overdoses have surpassed traffic accidents as a leading cause of death. In the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse study, it was found that 12 percent of the boys and eight percent of the girls surveyed admitted to having abused prescription drugs, and to add insult to injury most of them believed that because the pills were prescribed by a doctor that they were inherently safer than illegal drugs sold on the streets. A misconception that we now know to be completely false.
According to the White House Office of National Control Policy, the most cost-effective and “common-sense” approach to dealing with the epidemic are proper drug education and prevention. Particularly in trouble communities, cities and states that have found themselves inundated with a fast growing drug problem. Providing young people with the facts and statistics they need to make a smart choice about drug experimentation (and potential abuse down the road) is still the best policy we are armed with today in order to fight back against the addiction issues facing North American communities, with a strong focus on adolescents and young adults who are the target group for potential experimentation with substances.
The following quotes from real people who have found themselves in a struggle with prescription meds is an excellent way to provide the cold hard facts that many teens, young adults and pretty much anyone who may be faced with the harsh truth of addiction. The documentary is called “The Truth About Drugs – Real People, Real Stories.
“I had no idea [these drugs] were addictive until the morning I woke up and I was freaking out ….”
“Within a week or two I was taking them morning, afternoon and night and needed them to function.”
“You’re spending $300 or $400 dollars a day just to get by.”
“No one told me that it was addictive. No one told me about the side effects.”
“It makes your life a hell on Earth eventually.”
In creating the film, director Gary Ravenscroft interviewed more than 100 former drug addicts who had been on various drugs. “I found there were only a few reasons they all had for starting to take drugs: boredom, group pressure, and, the main one, ignorance of the effects of the drugs themselves. Nearly every former addict told us that if they had known how dealers and their so-called friends were lying and what these drugs would do, they would not have taken them.”