Prescription Drug Abuse as a Health Issue


Even though following the prescriptions of doctors and strict adherence to the course of treatment are mandatory conditions for the recovery process, excessive attachment to certain drugs may become a problem. In particular, prescription drug abuse is the issue that is relevant today and should be discussed at the state level. Some patients’ dependence on the medications that they take can be caused by various factors – narcotic drug components, addiction to certain doses, and other reasons. However, the consequences of abuse may be serious, and it is essential to discuss opinions and beliefs concerning this issue and determine why excessive dependence on prescribed medications can be fatal.

Cultural Beliefs

One of the main misconceptions faced by people experiencing strong attachment to certain medications is that the dose of the drug is directly proportional to the effect. If a medication is taken too often and in excess of the standard, there is a risk of addiction. The use of opioid drugs is particularly dangerous because these medications have the property of providing a narcotic effect. According to Paulozzi, Kilbourne, and Desai (2011), in the US, “drug overdoses resulting from the abuse of prescription opioid analgesics and other controlled substances have increased” (p. 747).

One of the reasons is insufficiently effective control over the turnover of such medications. As the authors remark, there is “the need for careful ongoing evaluation of public health and law enforcement programs designed to address drug diversion” (Paulozzi et al., 2011, p. 753). People should understand that contrary to the prevailing opinion, medicines may carry not only benefits but also danger, and uncontrolled use of potent substances is fraught with a negative impact on the psyche.

Another stereotype that has developed in society is the same approach to treatment in all the regions of the country. However, when comparing, for instance, rural areas and cities, ways to control the turnover of drugs and the healthcare system as a whole may differ. According to Keyes, Cerdá, Brady, Havens, and Galea (2014), “there are substantial differences in social norms, expectations, and cultural values between families of rural versus urban areas” (p. e54). It is easier to purchase dangerous medications where there is no tight control, which can have dangerous consequences for patients. Therefore, it is essential to avoid indifference to this problem in either cities or rural areas so that the population could be protected comprehensively.

Influences Relative to the Issue

The fight against the problem of drug abuse is complicated by the fact that some factors exacerbate the issue. As Scott, Nelson, Meisel, and Perrone (2015) argue, social media has a significant impact on the public opinion. Advertising campaigns aimed at promoting certain drugs tend to encourage the purchase of medications but rarely carry information about negative outcomes. As a consequence, people may not be aware of all side effects. Therefore, it is significant to minimize any attempts to sell dangerous drugs through global sales and take measures to ensure that the influence of social media does not affect the health of the population.

Conclusion

Discussing the problem of drug abuse is an important measure to eliminate the threat to the population and take measures to reduce dependence on dangerous medications. Some beliefs that have developed in society are ambiguous, and relevant information about the dangers of this problem should be disseminated. The impact of social media is significant; therefore, it is necessary to ensure that people receive truthful and up-to-date information regarding the threat of abuse.

References

Keyes, K. M., Cerdá, M., Brady, J. E., Havens, J. R., & Galea, S. (2014). Understanding the rural-urban differences in nonmedical prescription opioid use and abuse in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 104(2), e52-e59. Web.

Paulozzi, L. J., Kilbourne, E. M., & Desai, H. A. (2011). Prescription drug monitoring programs and death rates from drug overdose. Pain Medicine, 12(5), 747-754. Web.

Scott, K. R., Nelson, L., Meisel, Z., & Perrone, J. (2015). Opportunities for exploring and reducing prescription drug abuse through social media. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 34(2-3), 178-184. Web.