Without question the biggest challenge those in the addiction treatment field currently face is prescription drug addiction. Prescription drugs account for the majority of drugs of abuse (8 out of 14) at the moment and are destroying our country's young people. Many states are currently taking steps to combat the problem while claiming the top spot for prescription drug abuse among teenagers.
Treatment admissions for opiates increased over all 6% in the last year, prescription drugs accounted for 1/3 of the opioid addicts admitted. States like Tennessee and Maine are implementing programs to help curtail the mounting problems and skyrocketing prescription abuse treatment admissions. Sources say the main source for prescription drugs amongst teenagers is family and friends. States like Maine are rightfully targeting doctors.
Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Coalition in Aroostook County Maine began a county-wide program for combating prescription drug abuse. The coalition works within the county and community areas to target doctors an excessive amount of prescriptions for opiate painkillers. Alerting local physicians and other healthcare providers of drug offenders was a very successful action in alleviating the problem.
The residents of Tennessee spend more on prescription drugs per capita and many health care and addiction treatment providers are rightfully alarmed. Being responsible for killing approximately 20,000 people each year drugs like Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Percocet and Lortab are the primary culprits. Medicare and prescription fraud play a big part in the addiction problem.
Healthcare professionals in Tennessee are making known the problem and calling on colleagues to be more aware of any possible addiction issues prior to submitting to the pharmacy or suggesting the drugs. ASAP's in Maine have resulted in a 24 percent decrease in prescription treatment admissions, although numbers are still relatively high at 40 percent progress is being made.
More public awareness most certainly should happen, and those that we count on for our well-being should be held accountable for adverse effects caused by non-disclosure of the dangerous side effects of drugs prescribed. More addicts and people struggling with addiction are coming out of doctors office.
Billons of dollars are being spent fighting the drug war, drug cartels in Mexico and gangs here within our urban and now rural areas, while most people are getting hooked on doctor prescribed drugs and moving onto illicit street drugs. More drug awaremess campaigns and removing direct to consumer advertising would help alleviate the problem tremendously.