Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that we have a prescription drug abuse problem in our country. Medications that we use to help treat pain, anxiety, and other conditions are very potent and when misused can have terrible consequences. 100 Americans die from a drug overdose each day! Let’s look at a few other statistics and discuss ways that we can help address this problem.
Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
- Illegal and prescription drugs are responsible for almost 90% of all poisoning deaths.
- It is estimated that more than 15 million people in America have a prescription drug abuse problem.
- Over the past several years, medical emergencies from prescription drug abuse increased more than 130%, with opioid involvement increasing over 180%.
- More than half of all prescription drug abusers get them from a friend or relative.
How You Can Help Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
In community after community throughout Minnesota, we continue to see the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse. Unfortunately, we also see this affecting people from all walks of life; young or old, wealthy or poor, man or woman. Prescription drug abuse can destroy families, result in addiction, job loss, physical damage and even death. Law enforcement, legislators, and the healthcare industry are banding together to address this crisis but we need your help. Everyone can make an impact, here is what the CDC suggests for safe use of prescription medications:
- Keep your prescriptions drugs in a safe place and dispose of them properly as soon as they’ve expired.
- Most Sherriff Offices or County Courthouses now have prescription drop boxes to dispose of unused or expired medications.
- Only use your prescription painkillers as directed by your provider.
- Opioid painkillers are very likely to cause addiction if used for extended periods of time, only take the minimum amount necessary to treat your pain. Talk to your provider about how long you should be taking them.
- Do not sell or share prescription painkillers with other people.
- If you or someone you know has a problem with prescription drug abuse, call 1-800-662-HELP to find treatment resources.
Coborn’s Cares, We’re Here to Help!
We’re also doing our part in all of our pharmacies. We continue to diligently assess all medication orders for accuracy and safety. We counsel and educate all patients on the risks and benefits of all medications including opioids. Some of our pharmacies are able to dispense naloxone (an opioid reversal medication to address overdose), while some of our pharmacists even serve on controlled substance task forces and community panels. We are committed to serve our patients and the communities we practice in.
Thank you for partnering with us.
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