Prescription drugs make complex surgery possible,
relieve pain for millions of people, and enable many individuals with
chronic medical conditions to control their symptoms and lead productive
lives. Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly.
However, the non-medical use of prescription drugs is a serious public
health concern. Nonmedical use of prescription drugs like opioids,
central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants can lead to
abuse and addiction, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use.
Addiction rarely occurs among people who use a pain reliever, CNS
depressant, or stimulant as prescribed; however, inappropriate use
of prescription drugs can lead to addiction in some cases. Patients,
healthcare professionals, and pharmacists all have roles in preventing
misuse and addiction. For example, if a doctor prescribes a pain medication,
CNS depressant, or stimulant, the patient should follow the directions
for use carefully, and also learn what effects the drug could have
and potential interactions with other drugs by reading all information
provided by the pharmacist. Physicians and other health care providers
should screen for any type of substance abuse during routine history-taking
with questions about what prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines
the patient is taking and why.
> Prescription Drug Abuse
abuse of oxycodone products in general has increased in recent years.
In April 2000, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
published a study, which examined two data collection sources. The DEA
Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS) data tracks
the distribution of oxycodone and other opioid analgesics and the Drug
Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Medical Examiner (ME) and Emergency Department
(ED) data ascertained the health consequences associated with its abuse
from 1990 to 1996. The JAMA study found a 23 percent increase in the
medical use of oxycodone with no corresponding increase in the illicit
abuse of the drug. However, 1998 DAWN ME data reported a 93 percent increase
in oxycodone mentions between 1997 and 1998 and the number of oxycodone-related
DAWN ED mentions increased 32.4 percent from 1997 (4,857) to 1999 (6,429).
is designed to be swallowed whole; however, abusers
ingest the drug in a variety of ways. OxyContin ® abusers often chew
the tablets or crush the tablets and snort the powder. Because oxycodone
is water soluble, crushed tablets can be dissolved in water and the
solution injected. The latter two methods lead to the rapid release
and absorption of oxycodone.
> Oxycontin Abuse
There are many addictive drugs, and treatments for specific drugs
can differ. Treatment also varies depending on the characteristics
of the patient.
Problems associated with an individual's drug addiction can vary significantly.
People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many
suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems
that make their addictive disorders much more difficult to treat. Even
if there are few associated problems, the severity of addiction itself
ranges widely among people.
A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment
exists. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such
as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or
their combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for
coping with their drug cravings, teach them ways to avoid drugs and
prevent relapse, and help them deal with relapse if it occurs. When
a person's drug-related behavior places him or her at higher risk for
AIDS or other infectious diseases, behavioral therapies can help to
reduce the risk of disease transmission. Case management and referral
to other medical, psychological, and social services are crucial components
of treatment for many patients. The best programs provide a combination
of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual
patient, which are shaped by such issues as age, race, culture, sexual
orientation, gender, pregnancy, parenting, housing, and employment,
as well as physical and sexual abuse.
> Drug Rehabs