Since 1999, over 160,000 Americans, many of them otherwise healthy, have died from a prescription opioid overdose. But we're beginning to see a turn in the tide and evidence that healthcare providers can and will make the difference in this fight.
More than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, and both the number of prescription drug sales and the number of prescription drug overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999. Are doctors to blame?
When limited protection is attached to 911 Overdose Good Samaritan Laws, young people in particular are still afraid to call 911. N.Y. State for example, is choosing who may seek lifesaving emergency treatment.
Has our stressed-out, multi-tasking, anxiety-causing way of life turned us into a nation of addicts? Are we seeking out doctors who don't mind giving us multiple prescriptions for every little ache and pain and angst?
A big part of the prescription drug overdose problem is nonmedical use of prescription painkillers. Most people using such drugs nonmedically get them from people they know, who originally got them from doctors. New York's new law takes several important steps to address this problem.
High schools and colleges across our nation need to be aware of this growing threat and the need to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug misuse along with excessive drinking and illegal drug abuse.