25 Nov The Fear of Addiction Leads to a Call for Tighter Monitoring of Prescriptions
While prescription drug addiction is skyrocketing around the globe, officials of the Department of Health are looking for ways to monitor the increasing epidemic.
The Department of Health is talking to doctors and drug agencies in order to monitor safety and keep careful watch of how drugs are prescribed. Experts are worried in Britain and the United States, as more and more deaths every year are linked to prescription drug addiction.
Deaths in the US have risen more than three-fold in the previous ten years, and Britain’s deaths have risen six-fold since 1991, to roughly 1.4 billion deaths. There are approximately 500 million prescriptions per year that are given for addictive drugs, such as sleeping pills, sedatives and tranquilizers, as well as benzodiazepines that are prescribed for anxiety.
Doctors in the United Kingdom are worried that the numbers of deaths are actually higher than what has been recorded. Unfortunately data has been lost and not collected over the years, so officials worry they have more of a problem than they are aware of. In order to fix this, the Department of Health has worked with addiction specialists, clinicians, drug agencies and NHS regulators to increase monitoring and make sure the addiction doesn’t go unrecorded.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the abuse of painkillers and prescribed medication has risen to an epidemic level in the United States. This is believed to be true because the number of deaths is higher and more widespread than deaths of HIV and liver disease that can be caused by alcohol consumption and abuse.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the United Kingdom shared that the time period for prescriptions ought to be restricted to four weeks, but after a review of other prescriptions, it was found that a majority of prescribed medications are for eight weeks or more.
Prescription drug abuse may take unique forms and have different meanings. Some examples include taking in excess of the amount prescribed by a provider, taking the drug with certain narcotics or alcohol, using a friend or family member’s prescribed medication as a relief for pain, or using a medication that is not prescribed to you.
It is not unusual for people to develop an addiction to prescription drugs. These types of drugs focus on the reward center of the brain and make it extremely difficult to let go of the high and rewarding feelings that drugs can provide. Certain behaviors can act as caution signs that you or someone you know is abusing prescription drugs. Some of the signs include telling the doctor that the medication has been lost and usually numerous health providers are visited in order to get more medicine.
It is important to be aware of these symptoms and signs. If you are worried that someone you know might have an addiction to prescription drugs, it is important you talk with them and find help immediately.
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