Pain Killers: a Deadly Addiction

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lambert0402
Words 879
Pages 4
Pain Killers: A Deadly Addiction
Prescription pain killers help millions of people manage chronic pain due to illness and disease every day. These medications make it possible for people with chronic diseases, injuries or cancer to continue doing the things they enjoy instead of cringing from horrible pain. They also allow comfort for those close to passing and help others heal after surgery. Despite the benefits, millions of prescription pain medications are being over prescribed and misused, creating an epidemic of addicted individuals and causing thousands of deaths each year.
There are two types of painkillers: narcotic opioid drugs and over the counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Aspirin works by going to the site of the pain and blocking pain signals from being sent to the brain. Although we may still have an injury, our body isn't letting our brain know it. Opioids work in a similar manner by blocking pain signals to the brain; however, they also alter the way the pain feels to the brain. This can translate to a feeling of euphoria, reduced inhibitions and a feeling of wellbeing. It is these feelings that drive people to misuse opioids. According to a 2010 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 7 million people in the United States -- or 2.7 percent of the population -- annually abuse prescription drugs (SCIUTO, 2013).
Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the US in 2008. This is more than 3 times the 4,000 people killed by these drugs in 1999 (Injury Prevention & Control, 2011). Whether the medication is taken for a legitimate illness or illegitimately by someone who is using it for non-medicinal purposes, these drugs are highly addictive and causing deaths.
Some experts state that this epidemic is in fact being blown out of proportion and these medications are in fact not as addictive…...

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