I’m not usually one to cram a bunch of statistics in one article – but the information I found in relation to prescription painkillers was astounding and so I’m eager to share these numbers with you...
Many of us tend to underestimate the harmful and addictive properties of prescription drugs since they are given to us by medical professionals. However, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), 52 people die every day from opioid pain medications. This surpasses the number of deaths caused by cocaine and heroin combined. The Substance Abuse and Medical Health Services Administration claims that 4.3 million people are nonmedical users of painkillers and that almost 2 million people have a painkiller substance use disorder. And let’s not forget where Opioid painkillers come from: the opium poppy plant – just like heroin. Just because something is legal does not mean it is safe.
The NSC designates every June as National Safety Month and uses this time to spread the word about how to stay safe and prevent injuries. Medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse is one of the top concerns since drug poisoning is the #1 cause of unintentional deaths in the United States. An astonishing 70% of individuals abusing prescription painkillers reported getting the drugs from friends or family. Sharing opioids is a felony and should not under any circumstances be given to another person. By educating yourself about the risks associated with prescription drugs, you can help properly safeguard against injury.
-Use painkillers as prescribed by a physician. Do not take more than your prescribed dosage.
-Never mix opioid medications with alcohol, sleep aids, psychotropic drugs, or other pain relievers.
-Store in a safe place and away from the reach of children.
-Never share your prescription medications with anyone else.
-Always read warning labels and be aware of any contraindications that may exist.
-Properly dispose of any leftover or expired medication. You can search for a public disposal location here.
For more information about painkillers or to talk to someone about possible painkiller addiction for you or someone you know, contact CAN today at 281-427-4226.
-Brina “bj” Cash, LPC-I, CART
~For Cease Addiction Now, Inc.