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Prescription Drug Addiction A National Epidemic?

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In a recent news article, the Huffington Post covered a story on the trending problem of rogue pharmacies. The article somberly and poignantly reflects on several families and people who have lost loved ones due to prescription drug overdoses, specifically OxyContin, oxycodone, and other opiates. What is truly sad and troubling is that this article exemplifies only a snapshot of the big picture of prescription drug addiction. Millions of lives are affected directly and indirectly from this growing and glaring issue, it is indeed becoming an epidemic. Nationwide, overdose deaths from prescription medications have rocked families and have left devastation it its wake.

The Growing Problem Of Oxycodone, OxyContin Abuse

Legal narcotics have contributed to numerous overdose deaths which, according to the article, have doubled over the past decade. The story takes place in a tiny Huntington Beach, California, pharmacy, where more oxycodone, OxyContin, and other pain meds and controlled narcotics were filled. The scripts filled outnumbered the nearby chain giants Walgreens, CVS and Sav-On pharmacies combined. The statistics for California dispensing these controlled substances is staggering: 42,000 pharmacies filled 318 million of these orders last year. No wonder prescription drug addiction is becoming more and more prevalent.

Doctor shopping and pharmacy shopping has now become a profitable venture for drug abusers as well as the entities distributing and dispensing the pills. Because people pay cash for both the scripts and for the pills, both physicians and pharmacists stand to gain quick cash; it is a symbiotic relationship. Florida, long notorious for being a haven for pain clinics and cross-country dealers, has recently cracked down on drug distribution, leading to a noticeable reduction in prescription drug addiction, according to a recent University of Central Florida study.

The Watershed Treats Opiate Addictions

Legislation in Florida has made furtive efforts to obtain medications from a multitude of doctors and pharmacies more difficult. Hopefully, California and other states will seek to implement policies that will police pain pill and other pharmaceutical narcotics, and become more of a deterrent for those on all sides seeking to profit. Some encouragement comes from the fact that California’s Board of Pharmacy has been taking the necessary steps to hold those pharmacies accountable for the overdose deaths, and not only the ones mentioned in the Huffington Post article.  The Board has been levying disciplinary actions such as revocation of licenses and suspensions for medical physicians and pharmacies. Ideally, other states will follow suit in the near future to implement countermeasures to combat the increasing problem of prescription drug addiction. The Watershed is a drug treatment center that specializes in opiate addiction care. If you or a loved one is struggling with such an debilitating problem, please call us for help: 1-800-853-1614.



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