Nonmedical Opioid Use Has Doubled Over the Past 10 Years

A study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered that prescription opioid use doubled in a decade’s time.

Nearly 10 million Americans used the drugs in 2012-2013 without being prescribed them. OxyContin and Vicodin are among the most popular opioid use and prescription drugs being abused.

Here’s what else you need to know about opioid abuse among the American public — and what steps can be taken to curb the problem.

Prescription Drug Abuse Rising: What Can be Done?

Americans are notoriously bad about using prescription opioids for non-medical use throughout their lives. Over 11 percent claim to have done this, which is an increase of 4.7 percent from a decade ago. People don’t understand the drug’s risks nor do they think that they will become addicted, which is why they continue to abuse the drug with reckless abandon.

Mental Health Problems Associated With Nonmedical Opioid Use

Opioid addiction causes a number of mental health disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder, antisocial personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and borderline personality order. Opioid use is also associated with other drug use disorders. Depression is another issue for people that think opioid use isn’t a big deal and use it without a prescription.

Prescription Drug Monitoring: a Solution?

Prescription drug monitoring is a highly successful way for doctors to deal with opioid use without a prescription. By having patients submit drug tests, physicians are better able to determine who is and who is not abusing prescription pills. If a man or woman is given a dosage to take and it’s not in their system, where the opioids went to is a question to ask.

Some patients give their pills away while others sell them. Both practices are highly illegal and the reason why opioid use is at an all-time high. It’s important to deal with a problem at its source and when it comes to prescription pill abuse, monitoring whether a patient is correcting using prescriptions or has an excess of medication in their system is a start. Furthermore, when doctors keep track of who has been prescribed a painkiller, they can prevent “doctor shopping” and the illegal sale of prescriptions.

Test Smartly Labs nationwide provide drug and alcohol testing for doctors, businesses, and individuals, including prescription drug testing and monitoring. For help or more information on our services, contact your nearest Test Smartly Labs today.

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