Doctors and drugs: the stunning connection

Drug abuse. You probably have never worried about it for yourself or anybody you know. Well think again. According to our government on the whitehouse webpage “Prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically.” And who do you think are the providers for these drugs? Your very own neighborhood doctors. Doctors are partly to blame for people getting access to these drugs. They prescribe them naively, don’t do enough research on patients histories, and are most likely the ones introducing these drugs to people.

Vicodin® didn’t just dull the pain. I really enjoyed how it made me feel. I could relax and worry less about my family and business. I also got really tired, though. I had to drag myself around some days.When my prescription ran out, I got so sick. Even though it was December, I sweated like it was July. And my whole body was in pain, so much worse than my back pain. I was scared.I started going to many different doctors to get more Vicodin® prescriptions. I’d lie and say I was in terrible pain — worse than what I actually felt. I needed more and more pills to feel OK — more than one doctor would ever prescribe to me. Then I’d fill the different prescriptions at different drug stores.”. Max was addicted to prescription drugs. The addiction slowly took over his life. This is an inside look at how doctors are being bamboozled by patients and don’t realize what theyre doing.

Doctors prescribe drugs naively. This is one of the roots of the problem. The doctors are pressured or coaxed into giving them different drugs. The sheer amount of doctors that give into the will of the patient is astonishing, especially since the doctor should have the power over the patient’s life. According to the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse 47.1 percent of doctors said their patients pressured them into prescribing these drugs, and only 39.1 percent had any training in recognizing prescription drug abuse and addiction. This shows the seriousness of the fact that more than half the patients could get away with this. It should be the doctor who’s prescribing the drugs’ job to know how much she/he needs. They aren’t aware or don’t believe the fact that it could be them that starts a patient’s addiction, or that it would lead to abuse because they are mostly lacking in experience of abuse victims. In fact, research shows that from 1992 to 2002, prescriptions written for controlled substances increased 150 percent.

Because of the doctors. being unsuspectful, they don’t really check on patients. Patient history is the biggest factor into seeing what what will happen later on. When an investigator is looking for a suspect, they look at people’s history to see which person is more probable to have done the crime. The same ruling comes into play here. Reports from the National center for addiction and substance abuse day say that 43.3 percent of all American doctors did not even ask patients about prescription drug abuse when taking histories, and 33 percent did not regularly call or obtain records from a patient’s previous doctor or physicians before writing such prescriptions. Checking on Patient history can be the difference between life and death for a person. If you check and see they used to abuse medicine, or sees to much of it, the doctor can take initiative and get the patient help.

Doctors are the ones who introduce drugs to patients. When many people come in with broken bones or serious/normal injuries they prescribe drugs and people can ask for stronger or weaker medicine. But most of the time the drugs are useless or have no reason for being prescribed. The amount of drugs are being prescribed for no medical cause is abominable. In fact according to various reports from The Guardian; a study in France found that half of all drugs prescribed by French doctors were either useless or dangerous. Something that teenagers might be able to feel is that doctors are less worried about minors abusing drugs. According to Dr. Howard Markel, who counsels a group of teenagers who have a history talks about one girl in his group. According to him, Mary had a tonsillectomy. It is a minor but uncomfortable procedure, but she was still prescribed 80 tablets of OxyContin. Later on Dr. Howard confronts her surgeon and his response is “ well I guess I wasn’t thinking”.

On the other hand, there is the thought that it’s not the doctors fault for giving them the medication. They believe that the patient who is addicted could and will do anything possible to get drugs, and that includes tricking their doctors or getting them from friends or drug dealers. The common thought is that the drugs are found usually through different sources, while in fact if we trace the history of the drugs we find doctors at the end. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, “Among persons aged 12 or older in 2012–2013 who used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year and indicated that they most recently obtained the drugs from a friend or relative for free in the past year, 83.8 percent reported that their friend or relative obtained the drugs from just one doctor”.

Doctors are a very big part of the drug problem. Even if they aren’t filly aware of the problem they are causing, ignorance is not an excuse.

Drugs are a big part of society. Pharmaceuticals are a necessity in the society that we live in, right now people need them for all sorts of reasons. People are always getting injured, Illnesses, and need them to stop pain. But now things have gone overboard, and the very people we turn to for help are unknowingly becoming enablers. Doctors are prescribing drugs to people in a naive fashion. Not caring about details is a very big problem. Which brings us to the fact that they don’t do a good job on checking up and checking on their patients. In fact coming to the last point, they are the most probable reason why the patients are introduced to the drugs in the first place. All in all, doctors play a very big role in prescription drug abuse, and not a good one either.

Ridwan Bobe

Bibliography

http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm#fig2.16