How Has Overdose Touched Your Life?

How Has Overdose Touched Your Life?

Substance abuse is a large societal problem. Cultural costs include increased crime, violence and family disruption. Health effects are also a large part of the cost of substance abuse. Overdose can be very dangerous and require intense and expensive medical care. Many overdose emergencies are fatal, leaving broken families and decreasing societal productivity.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated in 2012 that drug overdose death rates have reached an all-time high: in the United States 100 people die from overdose every day. They note that rates have more than tripled since 1990. Although people regularly overdose on a wide variety of substances, the CDC reports that currently most overdoses are related to prescription drugs, and in particular to prescription painkillers. Most prescription painkillers are opioid medications. Since 1999, the sale of these drugs has increased 300%. In 2008, they were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. In 2009 prescription painkillers were responsible for more than 475,000 emergency room visits.

How Overdose Risks Affect People Needing Prescription Medications

When drug overdose strains the medical system, it affects everyone involved. The overdose epidemic has also led to a number of steps that may affect everyone needing a prescription. These steps include the following:

  • The number of controlled substances patients may be prescribed may be limited
  • Doctors who prescribe painkillers liberally may be sanctioned or have pressure put on them to prescribe the drugs less often
  • Insurance providers may limit the number of prescriptions they will cover
  • Patients may be forced to get all their prescriptions through one single doctor and one single pharmacy
  • Online pharmacies may be shut down
  • A national database may be established, so that if one doctor refuses to prescribe an opioid drug, others may be more likely to follow suit
  • Drug tests may be required at regular doctor visits
  • Doctors may require patients to bring in their prescription bottles so they can count the remaining pills
  • Pain clinics may come under increased scrutiny and be limited in their treatment options

In these ways, those who need prescriptions may struggle to get them if they have dealt with overdose in the past. This does not mean it will be impossible to get the treatment they need, but it may be more difficult to obtain and drug use may be closely monitored by medical professionals.

Help Overcoming Overdose

Drug overdose is a significant problem both for society and for those who struggle with addiction. If you’ve become addicted and are ready for help, we can connect you with qualified rehab centers. Our toll-free helpline is staffed 24 hours a day with phone counselors who can answer your questions. They can check your insurance coverage if desired, to help you identify all your options. Don’t remain in the grip of addiction and under the threat of overdose any longer.