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Author Topic: Prescirption drug abuse
philnotfil
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This is specific to Ohio, but just boggles my mind, how does this not get more attention?

nytimes.com

quote:
Nearly 1 in 10 babies born last year in this Appalachian county tested positive for drugs. In January, police caught several junior high school students, including a seventh grader, with painkillers. Stepping Stone House, a residential rehabilitation clinic for women, takes patients as young as 18.

In Ohio, fatal overdoses more than quadrupled in the last decade, and by 2007 had surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death, according to the Department of Health.

The problem is so severe that Gov. John R. Kasich announced $36 million in new spending on it this month, an unusual step in this era of budget austerity. And on Tuesday, the Obama administration announced plans to fight prescription drug addiction nationally, noting that it was now killing more people than crack cocaine in the 1980s and heroin in the 1970s combined.

quote:
“We’re raising third and fourth generations of prescription drug abusers now,” said Chief Charles Horner of the Portsmouth police, who often notes that more people died from overdoses in Ohio in 2008 and 2009 than in the World Trade Center attack in 2001.

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Viking_Longship
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More attention from whom?
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Pyrtolin
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It's a problem that it's impossible to draw a strong us vs. them line on and it can't play on personal guilt or anxiety very well either, so it's hard to sensationalize and sell.
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LoverOfJoy
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So if we legalize drugs and just regulate it and tax it, the problem will go away, right?
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TommySama
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Meanwhile, in the Midwest, all the kids are doing meth - a much more wholesome drug.
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aupton15
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Yeah, it turns out that a lot of primary care doctors make pretty good drug dealers. I see way too many clients who are prescribed ludicrous amounts of painkillers. Some doctors figure out that they have an abuser on their hands and try to cut them off, but by that time the addiction is often in place and people can become very resourceful in replinishing their supply. Many of the people I see are trying to get in to see our psychiatrist in hopes that she will prescribe pain medication for them, or at least a benzo for anxiety. It was a pretty significant problem with the population I saw in Kentucky as well. I'm in northern Ohio now but grew up not far from Portsmouth in West Virginia.
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Viking_Longship
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I think abuse of prescription drugs has never been taken seriously because they seem so mundane compared to most recreational drugs.
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OpsanusTau
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I have seen this problem even in veterinary medicine. You might be surprised (or I suppose maybe not) about just how many people there are out there who get drugs prescribed to their pets and then take the drugs.

The problem (well, one of several problems) with that is that it's extremely difficult to prove.

It's not exactly clear what should be done to mitigate prescription drug abuse. I mean, a lot of people get addicted to painkillers or anti-anxiety meds because they are in chronic pain, or anxious.

The real question is the same one we have about meth abuse in the rural west: why are these people's lives so bleak and empty that they feel the need to self-medicate? And what is the way to solve the underlying problem?

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RickyB
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"So if we legalize drugs and just regulate it and tax it, the problem will go away, right? "

No. That's why it's called "Harm Reduction". Not "Harm Elimination".

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
So if we legalize drugs and just regulate it and tax it, the problem will go away, right?

Well we could always outlaw the prescription drugs that people are abusing. Because y'know, the Prohibition didn't have any unintended consequences.
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OpsanusTau
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On a related note - call me crazy, but if people are going to be abusing drugs I would rather they abuse narcotics in measured amounts at concentrations controlled by the FDA than abuse a drug someone made in their garage or mixed with god-only-knows-what.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
On a related note - call me crazy, but if people are going to be abusing drugs I would rather they abuse narcotics in measured amounts at concentrations controlled by the FDA than abuse a drug someone made in their garage or mixed with god-only-knows-what.

You are crazy. And evil. Won't somebody please think about the children?!

En espanol

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Viking_Longship
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One of the best arguments I can think of for legalizing marijauna is being able to regulate the THC level.
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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
On a related note - call me crazy, but if people are going to be abusing drugs I would rather they abuse narcotics in measured amounts at concentrations controlled by the FDA than abuse a drug someone made in their garage or mixed with god-only-knows-what.

That's probably not the best claim to make though, since people who abuse prescription drugs are either doctor-shopping for multiple prescriptions, exaggerating their symptoms so they'll be prescribed far higher doses of far more substances than they actually need, or buying and using other peoples' drugs. Whichever way you look at it, the measured amounts and concentrations controlled by the FDA have been thrown right out the window somewhere along the line.
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OpsanusTau
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Oh no I understand all that. It's still true that if you're taking a 10 mg tablet of diazepam, regardless of whether it was prescribed to you or whether it's a good amount for you personally to be taking, it is quite likely that you are actually consuming no more or less than 10 mg of the drug, and it probably doesn't contain other poisons.

That means that 1) people are less likely to poison themselves with the substances used to mix street drugs (cf. levamisole in cocaine, and who knows what in MDMA); 2) people are less likely to accidentally overdose themselves in the course of recreational use, since the concentration and amount are known to the user; and 3) in the case of an overdose, medical professionals have a chance of knowing what they are dealing with.

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