The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared in a recent press release that nationally there is a wide variation in the levels of prescription of addictive opioids. The majority of deaths due to narcotic overdose are now because of the misuse of prescription drugs, and because of heroine addiction that originated from the over-prescription of narcotics, such as oxycodone. The CDC research showed that the level of prescriptions varies widely by state with a higher incidence in the Central and Southern states. It also mapped out the correlation between prescription rates and overdoses and death resulting from prescription pain medication.
The use of prescription painkillers in the United States has skyrocketed in recent years. Over the last decade, deaths due to overdose of prescription narcotics have tripled. In spite of the impact on their victims, pharmaceutical companies have made determined efforts to get the maximum return for their products. Two counties in California have taken the big five Pharmaceutical companies to task for their marketing practices in an ongoing lawsuit.
The CDC is working with states to reduce opioid prescriptions to a level that is appropriate for genuine pain management. Florida has provided an excellent case study of how improved oversight can reduce deaths due to overdose. Formerly having one of the highest rates of overdose deaths, Florida has reversed the trend and shown that a reduction in narcotic prescriptions leads to a reduction in overdoses.
At the optimal level, prescription painkillers are effective at controlling pain and suffering. Where standards and practices have lapsed and inappropriate levels of prescriptions have become the norm, it has been a disaster for patients as well as a profit center for the giants of the pharmaceutical industry. The CDC stated that there is no therapeutic value in over-prescribing narcotics but there is a strong, documented correlation with overdose rates and deaths.
Further, the CDC announced the results of Florida’s attempt to turn the tide and reduce overdose fatalities. The reduction of prescription narcotics for pain medication in 2010-2011 successfully led to a significant reduction in deaths due to overdose. Although there has been some progress in dealing with this destructive issue, the pharmaceuticals industry, like Big Tobacco, has shown itself to be ruthless and devious in its efforts to deliver product. The epidemic of prescription abuse, heroine addiction and death by overdose can be traced directly back to their actions.
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