Prescription Drug And Opioid Addiction: A “Man-Made” Epidemic
Prescription drug addiction is one of the fastest-growing types of substance abuse issues today. It has reached epidemic proportions, and clients who have never had a history of drug abuse are finding themselves in the position of needing a detox service because they are unable to get off of medications they started taking on the advice of their physicians.
Many people are being introduced to very powerful drugs in the aftermath of an injury, surgery or another medical issue. Their doctors are the gatekeepers who are prescribing these medications and the patient may not be given the full picture about the possible ramifications of the decision to use a controlled substance in his or her treatment plan.
Possibility Of Addiction When Opioids Are Prescribed
When people are in pain, it’s normal for them to want to feel comfortable as soon as possible. No one wants to continue to suffer if they don’t have to. A busy doctor who has many patients to see may listen to a patient’s complaint of being in a lot of pain and decide to treat the pain rather than discuss other treatment options that will take longer and be safer in the long run.
New Proposed Laws Would Require Patients To Be Informed
Under a current batch of bills being considered, New Jersey doctors would be required to inform all patients who are being prescribed opioids that there is a possibility that they may become addicted to this type of prescription medication if they do not take it as directed by their doctor or continue to use the medication over a long period of time.
The proposed legislation will also require doctors to discuss alternative forms of treatment with their patients so that they know about their options. The discussion must be documented in the patient’s file.
If a patient chooses to take a prescription opioid medication, he or she will be doing so with a much better understanding of how the medication works and of the potential hazards it poses if abused. These medications are highly effective but must be treated with the utmost respect if this man-made epidemic is going to turn around.
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