Prescription drugs are taking a toll on the people who use them, not only their wallets but their health also.
Doctors are becoming more interested in money than the overall health of their patients. What is the normal doctor visit for someone who has leg pain? A quick drive to the office, have the doctor come in and ask, “Does this hurt?” “Does it hurt when I do this?” These are pretty standard questions that can only really be measured by the patient. So, to these questions the patient says yes and the doctor writes a prescription for Motrin 800mg for the pain. The doctor has written a prescription for a drug that can be substituted with over-the-counter Ibuprofen. Two weeks pass and the leg pain is still there bothering the patient. After being notified the doctor sees the patient basically to ask them if the last prescription worked at all, and when the patient says, “Oh, it worked a little,” the doctor writes a prescription for a drug that is stronger and has addictive properties. The most common type of pain pills prescribed for something like “leg pain” is Hydrocodone in combination with Acetaminophen. Familiar names include Vicodin, Norco, Lortabs, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Vicodin HP, and Vicaprofen. This situation between a doctor and his/her patient, although hypothetical, is not very far from the truth. Take into consideration, “In one study, in which doctors and nurse practitioners were presented with part of a clinical scenario—as would occur when first seeing a patient with a medical problem—and then encouraged to ask to find out more about the source of the problem, 65% of doctors recommended that a patient complaining of insomnia be treated with sleeping pills even though, had they asked more questions about the patient, they would have found that the patient was not exercising, was drinking coffee in the evening, and, although awakening at 4 a.m., was actually getting seven hours of sleep by then.” (Now there are two main ideas to be taken away from this situation. The first is that (some, not all) doctors are prescribing medication by guessing. They don’t have the time to really delve deep into the reason why the patient is experiencing pain, and what can be done to heal the pain. The drugs described above, being used as pain pills have no healing properties. All these pain pills do is mask the pain. The experts at Health Central state, “Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.”(Health Central) The second point being made is that these drugs containing “opiates” (drugs derived from opium, also known as narcotics) have extremely addictive properties. “Along with its benefits, this medication may cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past.” (Health Central) If one ever questions why or how people can become addicted to pain meds, try these numbers on for size. “….abuse of prescription opioids, like morphine, oxycodone, and codeine. The use of these drugs has increased 402 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the drug control office.” (McCarthy) One way to lower the prescribing of these drugs is by re-educating the doctors prescribing the medication states McCarthy. “The other piece of the plan would require doctors and other clinicians to undergo mandatory education about appropriate prescribing for pain medications. This would affect a large number of doctors, as a DEA registry authorizes more than 700,000 physicians to prescribe extended-release opioids.” (McCarthy) Hopefully this continued education would give doctors the insight and knowledge to help diagnose the pain patients experience and encourage simple life-style (changing diet, exercising, etc) changes to promote healing instead of masking the pain with pills.
Even when prescribed a type of medication that is supposed to aid a patient in recovery to an issue such as...
Cited: McCarthy, Meghan. "Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse Starts With Education, Feds Say." Nationaljournal.com 19 Apr. 2011. General OneFile. Tues. 15 Apr. 2011.
Health Central. Home Page. 15 Apr. 2011
Pub Med. Home Page. 15 Apr. 2011
Rochon PA, Gurwitz JH. Optimising drug treatment for elderly people: The prescribing cascade. British Medical Journal Oct 25, 1997; 315: 1096 - 1099.
Nearly 4 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Receive Help with Prescription Drug Cost under Affordable Care Act." Managed Care Weekly Digest 4 Apr. 2011: 55. Academic OneFile. Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
Ukens C. How mail order pharmacy gained in market share in 2003. Drug Topics Mar 22, 2004; 148.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document