Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Divergent Opinions On Prescription Drug Epidemic

Are there any sustainable solutions to the ever growing prescription drug epidemic in America? At this point it has proven impossible to find a middle ground between proper pain management and over-prescribing; it turns out that there are divergent opinions between different arms of the federal government on how to best handle the situation, according to a new report by the Associated Press.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would like to keep prescription opioids accessible to people with chronic pain despite the fact that every year such drugs account for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. On the other hand, the White House, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) view prescription drug abuse as an epidemic that needs a cure.

While FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg believes that opioids are over-prescribed, she told the AP that prescription opioids are needed by the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. “I think we have an important balancing act of trying to assure that safe and effective drugs are available for patients who have real pain and need medical care,” she said.

Naturally, not everyone agrees that you can have your cake and eat it too and the numbers prove that it isn’t possible. Officials from the CDC would like to see more limited prescribing of drugs that are prone to abuse, according to the article. Between 1999 and 2010, overdose deaths more than tripled as the result of a four-fold increase in opioid sales, according to the CDC. “These are dangerous medications and they should be reserved for situations like severe cancer pain where they can provide extremely important and essential palliation,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “In many other situations, the risks far outweigh the benefits.”

Hydrocodone (Vicodin) is prescribed more than any other prescription drug in the United States, says DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator Joe Rannazzisi. He says the U.S. consumes 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone supply. “A controlled substance shouldn’t be the most widely prescribed medication in the United States,” he said. “If we believe we’re the only country that knows how to treat pain that’s a pretty arrogant attitude.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!