Opioid Overdoses Skyrocket Causing More Drug-Related Deaths

A new report from the British Medical Journal says the number of fatalities in the U.S. from prescribed painkillers has now passed that of alcohol liver disease, HIV and multiple myeloma. The most common of these opioids are OxyContin, Suboxone and Vicodin and sadly, many believe these painkillers are harmless since they are prescribed by doctors. Dr. Michael Lowestein warns that these prescription drugs are opiates just the same as heroin and can be very dangerous if abused or used for a continuous length of time.

According to a recent post on the News Junky Journal there has been a huge increase in fatalities from overdoses related to opiates in the past decade. They are increasingly being prescribed by health care professionals and online pharmacies that illegally sell them in bulk with no prescription needed.

British Medical Journal researchers discovered that from 1999 to 2007 opiate deaths had risen from just over 4,000 to 14,459. These deaths involved young people who accidentally or unintentionally overdosed. The report showed that young adults have such a carefree outlook towards prescriptions that they don’t recognize the dangers of using prescription pills for recreation.

In the last year, the National Institutes of Health conducted a study and found that hydrocodone had been abused by 8 percent of U.S. seniors in high school. Florida is a hot spot for pill mills and government officials on the local level have been working on stricter laws to close them down. Oxycodone purchases decreased by 97 percent since 2010 due to the new laws in FL that limit or ban most doctors there from prescribing or selling them in offices or clinics.

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The Pain of Addiction

Vicodin addiction often starts innocently enough. Most people start taking Vicodin or other pain medications after surgery or an injury. But then they can’t stop. They need more to get the same pain relief. They start doctor shopping to get more pills. And the cycle continues until it takes over their lives.