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Could More Government Regulation Help Prevent Addiction?

There are many areas that we, as Americans, resent the idea that the “government” wants to be involved in our lives, and rightfully so. However, there is a time and place for government oversight that seems not only appropriate, but also smart.

One way to evaluate the wisdom of allowing government is to look at where government regulations have been effective at curbing the illicit sale of addictive pharmaceuticals. addiction

The government doesn’t hesitate to intervene in the public’s lives when a law is broken, and the public supports or is silent about this type of government involvement. However, when the addiction prevention professionals ask the legislators to control the production and sales of ephedrine, a drug in cold medicines and the needed raw product for meth labs, we are told that it is anti-capitalism and against the free-market.

When over one million people sign a petition to ban the production and sale of Oxicontin opiates because it is medically unnecessary because there are other opiate analgesics that are just as effective without as much addiction potential, we are, again, told that we are interfering with the free market.

Florida has been identified as the state with the highest level of prescription painkiller diversion and illegal sales of these drugs on the streets, but when a bill was introduced to better monitor prescriptions of controlled substances, it failed due to conservative pressure to keep government out of the free market.

When you look at countries in Europe that put restrictions on these drugs, you find that they don’t have meth labs and the methamphetamine problems that we have in American. You find other countries that have very few opiate painkillers and do not allow the marketing of large varieties of painkillers that compete with heroin in terms of the “high” that ones gets as a side-effect of the medicine. These countries have fewer diverted pharmaceuticals and, therefore, fewer people addicted to them.

When one examines why legislative bills that would sensibly control pharmaceuticals drug rehab that have a direct connection to illicit drug diversion and addiction, you find that the pharmaceutical companies invested in keeping government from having these logical controls, and, therefore, lobby to maintain the status quo. There are other money interests that profit from this avenue of addiction that also influence our legislators from making laws that could greatly impact this severe problem in our society.

There are many places in our commerce where government oversight may not be beneficial, but with the public health issue of addiction, we would benefit from sensible policies that would regulate these addictive drugs more effectively. Millions of dollars are spent on the “war on drugs” with addiction treatment being a large part of those costs. The total savings in dollars and pain and suffering could be greatly reduced if we would follow the types of policies that have proven effective in other countries.

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How Physicians Are Contributing To Opiate Addiction In America

In the last fifteen years, there has been a tremendous rise in opiate addiction originating from prescription painkillers and not from the traditional sale of illicit drugs on the streets.

Anyone that goes to their doctor about a chronic pain problem knows that they may get a prescription for a painkiller that can be addicting, but they never realize how severe the addiction problem can become. In interviews with hundreds of patients that are addicted to their pain medications, one sentiment is always expressed: “If I would have known that I would be in this condition, I would have never taken these medications”.

Unfortunately, most people do not understand how severe opiate withdrawals painkillers can be and they don’t realize that even after they have gone through the physical withdrawals, they will suffer with sleepless nights and drug cravings for many months after they stop taking these opiate painkillers.

These patients with pain problems need more than just a prescription for opiate pain medication. They need to understand that if they are going to have chronic pain, trying to medicate it away with drugs is only a temporary fix. After taking opiates for two weeks or more, the patient will begin to develop a tolerance for the drug and will require higher doses to achieve the same results.

After increasing the medicine dosage, the analgesic affects increase, but not to the level that they were when they first took these drugs. This tempts the patient to take more than the prescribed amount and soon he is going back to his physician wanting to refill his medicine sooner than the doctor can allow.

These are very common problems with all physicians that prescribe opiate painkillers, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If someone truly has moderate to severe chronic pain problem, they should be referred to an ethical pain management physician. These doctors specialize in handling these types of problems and they spend the time to educate the patient on what they can expect from these drugs drug rehab and what actions, other than opiates, that they need to do to help relieve their pain.

However, there are many “pain management clinics” that are not providing ethical and conservative administration of these strong medications and many patients are still becoming “middle-class drug addicts” because of the amount of painkillers that are being prescribed by these specialty clinics.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost in our society by previously productive individuals that have become drug addicts though very little fault of their own. These types of analgesics are extremely habit-forming and, when they are stopped, the withdrawals and consequences of being addicted to these opiates takes up to six months to fully handle the side effects of their addiction analgesics.

Most people in with severe pain should research the consequences of these drugs before they take agree to abide by the doctor’s advice to use them on a daily basis. This form of iatrogenic addiction is becoming epidemic and even though the medical community and the Drug Enforcement Administration know how many lives are being wrecked by these prescribed drugs, the problem is continuing to get worse. It is everyone’s personal responsibility to be aware of the dangers of these medications. Professionals in the alcohol and other drug rehab field have seen countless numbers of broken marriages and divorced parents starting with medication to help relieve one’s pain.

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