Prescription drug abuse is getting out of control, and New York City is doing something about it. The city is suggesting and requesting that doctors do not prescribe anyone a long-acting opioid for more than a three-day dose, at all.
Long-acting means that the pill’s analgesic effects last much longer than some other pill forms of the same chemicals, meaning the user stays high much longer. The danger is long-acting is that, when high longer, being not-high feels more uncomfortable than being high for smaller amounts of time and realizing a balance between high and not high.
NYC sees the danger and reacts by creating emergency room guidelines to fight prescription drug abuse. With less prescription, less people have the potential to abuse, right? In theory it sounds logical, but NYC reports that for every four people abusing prescription drugs, three got the pills from friends and family members who did not take a full prescription themselves, so there are leftover pills for someone else to take.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Opioids, like OxyContin, are essentially heroin in pill form. When taken as prescribed, for actual physical pain, the pills work great. The problem is that they are so addictive. Taking the last of a friend’s prescription for a few days makes the user now want more. What does that user do? He or she goes to an emergency room and complains of pain.
NYC creates emergency room guidelines, and suggestions, to fight this path to prescription drug abuse. Part of the plan is to get ER doctors to the point where they do not replace lost or “stolen” prescriptions or actual pills for anyone saying this is why they needs more.
Instead of long-acting opioids, emergency room doctors are to prescribe short-acting opioids only for acute (on-the-spot, short) pain. Immediate-release pill forms of hydrocodone, such as Vicodin, oxycodone, such as Percocet, and hydromorphone, such as Dilaudid, are recommended for pain experienced by emergency room patients. OxyContin and long-acting versions of those drugs listed should not be prescribed at all. The less that’s made available, the less that can be consumed, especially by those who are abusing and possibly addicted.
Listen To Katie’s story about the opioid addiction treatment she received from Sovereign Health: