To get right in to it, if you were a pain pill of sorts and your sole mission in life was to be the target of human consumption and you lived in, say… Antarctica, where would you go? To what other far away land might you travel, where there would await an abundance of quick cure seekers and eager pill poppers packed in to local pharmacies like cattle? A paradise where pills of all colors can thrive in without prejudice, and who knows? You may get to ride around with a few celebrities! Or better yet, you might even become a celebrity yourself, plastered across billboards and television screens, like the multitude of “ask your doctor if it’s right for you” commercials we so often see! Hmmn…where would one go? With a show of hands, how many readers out there living in the western culture of civilization do not know the answer to this question? Sources suggest very few.
In the United States millions of pills are consumed every day, for a vast assortment of ills, aches, and debilitating diseases. Doctors sign their name on a paper slip, in which you take to your local pharmacist, and then…Voila! On the road to recovery. However we found that was not always the case, and for a number of different reasons. In certain instances, like with many pain relievers, patients risk developing a dependency as a tradeoff to recovering from an injury.
According to addiction specialists, risks of dependency may vary from person to person, for example, someone treated with a recoverable knee injury, who is prescribed an Opiate pain reliever, may end up acquiring a mental and physical addiction far less recoverable than the injury that caused for the use of pain pills in the first place. Especially if the individual has a weaker resistance to the Opiates’ addictive properties. Professionals have reported in some cases, patients who have fallen into the wells of addiction, but have recovered from their injury and are no longer in need of medical treatment may find themselves inventing, or fabricating injuries, such as back, or nerve pain in order to get the pain pills prescribed to them. Estimates on the number of patients in the U.S., currently being treated with pain pills, who are not genuinely in pain are still uncertain. According to FDA officials, plans are in affect to curb the unnecessary prescribing of prescription pain medications.
In a 2012 survey done by The National Institute on Drug Abuse, results show pain relievers responsible for 17 percent of the total illicit drug use in the nation by individuals in their teens and twenties. This staggering figure nearly doubles all other illicit drug use including, inhalants, tranquilizers, stimulants, sedatives, Cocaine, Heroin, and hallucinogens combined, with the exception of Marijuana. The survey was taken from 2.9 million initiates of illicit drugs.
Has America proven to be a world leader in the War on Drugs, or just an expert on changing the name and face of them? The story of pain has endured throughout time, and so how comes the day where the enemy of pain may become the enemy of the patient. A far cry from the paradise these pretty little pain pills have to offer.
By, Aaron Thompson