Patients filling multiple prescriptions supplied by more than one doctor are putting themselves in grave danger, says a recent study by Harvard Medical School. Researchers found percentages to be alarmingly high in the number of patients who develop complications from this practice, especially among the elderly and the disabled. These painkiller cocktails consisting of any number of drugs are believed to be the cause of devastating and deadly narcotic complications that result in repeated hospital visits. The duplication of these varying prescriptions came as a surprise to some doctors who were not aware that their patients were seeing other practitioners.
The opioid’s that are frequently found to be in the mix are vicodin, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine sulfate tramadol and percocet, just to name a few. Tramadol has been known to increase respiratory depression in the central nervous system when combined with anesthetics, sedative type narcotics or alcohol. Many times these drugs wind up being used by individuals they are not prescribed to. The common practice of patients doling out medications to those they are not meant for has long been a concern for medical professionals.
A quick solution to this growing problem does not appear to be on the immediate horizon. As the senior population grows and more people become reliant on over the counter prescription painkiller’s for pain management, the problem just seems destined to worsen as pharmaceutical corporations will continue manufacturing and providing them. There is however a bright side to the debate between chemically processed prescription medications and natural or herbal medicinal remedies (read marijuana).
More and more patients are becoming aware of their choice to switch to less toxic healing solutions for their pain. The movement to legalize the demonized herb is picking up steam in many states across the country, allowing patients their right to choose. Painkiller cocktails can be dramatically reduced if more doctors would pick up the mantle for marijuana legalization, this would help stop the deadly narcotic complications and avoidable hospital visits suffered by their patients.
If more doctors prescribe cannabis to patients with pain issues, the pharmaceutical companies just might start to take notice and start trying to clean up the mess they are causing prescription abusers. Addiction to painkiller’s is believed to be increasing among the old and young alike. There is no discrimination when addiction takes over, there is only the need and the abuse. Many find it shameful and or embarrassing to admit they have a problem and seek help. Hospitals are witnessing a rise in the number of overdoses from people of all demographics. It would appear that the flood of prescription drugs are now showing their devastating effects.
The painkiller cocktails that have been causing deadly and frequent narcotic complications in patients admitted to hospitals for them, may face longer visits depending on the severity of their symptoms. Even after problems have been treated. Patients have been known to continue seeking prescription drugs in order to sell for money or exchange for other drugs. Because the drugs can be hard to get without a doctors assistance, they will continue to command a significantly high street value that will keep the abuse cycle going.