Prescription Misuse and Abuse

Robertson, Emily, Samantha Habib, Lamarr Hicks, and Idamis Gutierrez

Prescription drug abuse is a public health issue taking over communities all over the United States. In the U.S. alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs (Foundation for a Drug Free World, 2017). This issue begins with teens as every day in the US, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time (Foundation for a Drug Free World, 2017).  It is an easy drug to get, as it is prescribed by doctors. There are 3 types of prescription drugs that are commonly abused. They include opioids, painkillers like Vicodin, depressants, such as Xanax, and stimulants, including Adderall (Foundation for a Drug Free World, 2017). Prescription drug abuse causes the largest percentage of deaths from drug overdosing (Foundation for a Drug Free World, 2017). However, prescription drug monitoring programs can help fight this epidemic. Steps to fix this solution follow the ideas of monitoring, enforcement and education. People can monitor the problem by reporting suspected abuse or theft of prescribed opioids, depressants and stimulants (APHA, 2017). We, as a society, can enforce the solution by creating systems of accountability for doctors and prescribers. There needs to be standards for safe prescribing. Through education, we can teach parents and youths about the risks and dangers of misuse and abuse of presription drugs (APHA, 2017).