Professor Greg Shows
29 November 2010
Dose of Reality
“Oxycotton, Xanax Bars, Percocets, and Lortabs, Valium, Morphine, Patches, Ecstasy, and it’s all up for grab…” with lyrics such as these from Lil’ Wyte and music artists alike flooding the mp3 players and radio stations of teens and young adults, it is evident that the use of drugs is widely publicized, and somewhat encouraged. Unfortunately, the dangers of drugs are not made quite as apparent, especially prescription drugs, which are having a steady up rise in the percentage of users while the age of those prescribed to the medication, or use it for recreational use is becoming lower. There are many contributing factors that contribute to the climbing rates of legal and illicit prescription drug use including development in disease research, misperceptions that they are “safer” than illicit drugs,
The number of prescriptions for controlled medications such as opioids and stimulants has nearly doubled in adolescents and young adults since 1994.The trend, reported in the December issue of Pediatrics, mirrors a similar increase in misuse of these drugs, with adolescents and young adults’ illicit use of prescription drugs now outstripping all other illicit drug use except marijuana. According to a recent study conducted by the reserachers at the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of prescription drugs by the average American has grown over the past decade. Those whom take at least one prescription drug increased by 10%, while those making use of multiple medications grew by 20%. Considering the ten year time period, this may not propose as a shocking increase, but the number of Americans taking five or more prescriptions a day has increased an astonishing 70%. As of 2010, 48.3% of Americans take at least one prescription medication, and the numbers are still rising.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is an enduring mental disorder that may become noticeable in a child’s formative preschool years. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention ADHD affects approximately 7 percent of the school-aged population and, for that reason, has turned into a public health concern (Medical News Today, 2007). Treatment compliance is ...
Viewed in demographic terms, results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that while women were more inclined to take prescription drugs than men, rates of use were considerably higher amongst white Americans than they were amongst black and Mexican Americans. This statistic could be linked with the relationship between accesses to health care services, according to the (NHANES) having a regular source of health care, health insurance, and health insurance with prescription drug benefits were all associated with the increased use of medications prescribed. Those with a regular place for health care were 2.7 times as likely to have used prescription drugs as those without. Among people with health insurance, those having a prescription drug benefit were 22% more likely to consume prescription drugs than those who didn’t. In terms of cost, spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. more than doubled over the period 1999-2008. The types of drugs that were most commonly used for children (0-11years old) were asthma medications and penicillin antibiotics. As for adolescents, central nervous system stimulants such as amphetamines are used to speed up mental and physical processes. Roughly one in eight children, about six million children will take Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, or another form of ADHD medication, which is quintuple the amount of children taking ADHD medication since 1991. In the same time period, Ritalin use for the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder combines has increase a whopping 700 percent. For middle aged adults (20-59 years old) the most common drug is anti-depressants and for the baby boomer era medications used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol are the most prescribed, resulting in those over 60 years old make up almost half of the prescription drug market.
... ADHD medications risky and harmful, but the long term consequences of the drugs are detrimental to a child’s health as ... is methylphenidate, with approximately 85%-90% of all prescriptions for this drug being written for ADHD” (p. 53). ... children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were researched to expose the risks of pharmaceuticals and their side effects on young children. ...
With over one million cases seen in the ER related to the abuse of prescription medications as reported by the CDC, it begs the question as to what is causing the dramatic increase in the use of prescription drugs. Prescription medications such as pain relievers, central nervous system (CNS) depressants (tranquilizers and sedatives), and stimulants are highly beneficial treatments for a variety of health conditions. Pain relievers enable individuals with chronic pain to lead productive lives; tranquilizers can reduce anxiety and help patients with sleep disorders; and stimulants help people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focus their attention. Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly. But when abused—that is, taken by someone other than the patient for whom the medication was prescribed, or taken in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed—prescription medications can produce serious adverse health effects, including addiction. While prescription medications wreak many benefits, they also carry immense danger and if the use prescription drugs continue to rapidly incline our future will be in a drug infused daze.