Painkiller Abuse: Obsession with Escaping Discomfort?
A study that was released by the White House recently showed that there was a very significant increase in admissions for substance abuse treatment for prescription pain killers over a ten year period. Figures pegged the increase at more than 400 percent, from 1998 to 2008.
In a feature on the Christian Science Monitor, Pamela Hyde, the administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), was quoted as saying that the “tragic consequences [of prescription drug abuse] are seen in substance abuse treatment centers and hospital emergency departments throughout our nation.”
Prescription drug abuse – which includes abuse of prescription pain relievers – is considered as the second most abused substance in the country. The feature included views expressed by addiction specialist Clare Kavin of The Waismann Method, a treatment center for opiate dependency, which we totally agree with: “We are in a culture of immediate gratification and nobody will put up with even the slightest discomfort anymore.”
Essentially, it seems that the country has become too dependent on pain relievers. More people are turning to pills for relief of even slight discomfort, and there is a demand for stronger painkillers, despite the fact that there are low strength and non-addictive options available.
Dr. Scott Glaser, president of Pain Specialists of Greater Chicago, revealed that the problem of prescription painkiller abuse exists across age groups and socio-economic status. He also shared the following information: “There has been a strong push among doctors in recent years to be more aggressive in addressing pain. This has led to the dramatic increase in opiates such as morphine, but the problem is there hasn’t been a whole lot of science to go along with that.”medicine abuse, painkiller abuse, prescription drug abuse