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Drug Take Back Day: Unused prescription medicines fueling opioid addiction in US

Is the bottle of prescription opioids you didn’t use after your tooth extraction still lying in your medicine cabinet?

Do you still have those painkillers, which your physician prescribed after a knee replacement surgery, on your bedside table?

If the answers to the above questions are “yes,” then your laxity could rob an unwary person of his or her life. You may be unintentionally playing an instrumental role in furthering the prescription drug abuse crisis by creating an opportunity for curious or unsuspecting individuals to lay hands on your unused medicines. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that most teens or young adults who abuse prescription medications were given them for free by a friend or close family member.

Studies suggest addiction can modify an individual’s brain and behavior, making it beyond one’s control to resist the allure of addictive, euphoria-inducing prescription drugs. Once trapped in addiction, chronic opioid users will go to any extent to satisfy their compulsive drug-seeking urges by stealing unused medicines, engaging in doctor shopping, breaking medicine cabinets, or making online purchases. It is sad that many Americans consider prescription drugs safe, and overlook the usage directions suggested by doctors.

Addiction to prescription drugs are taking a heavy toll on people’s lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. The CDC data also shows that from 1999 to 2016, more than 200,000 Americans succumbed to overdoses related to prescription opioids. Experts feel that both prescription and illicit opioids are the primary drivers of overdose deaths in the country. “The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen,” said Robert Patterson, acting administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Drug Take Back Day

As substance abuse continues to claim many lives throughout the U.S., the DEA sponsors a special event for people to come out in large numbers to safely dispose of their unused, and unwanted prescription drugs on the Drug Take Back Day that falls on April 28, 2018. You may click here for more information about the prescription drugs take back event in your vicinity. Last fall, Americans disposed of a record-breaking 456 tons of potentially deadly prescription drugs, raising the overall amount of prescription drugs collected by the DEA since 2010 to 4,508 tons.

Owing to their chemical structures, opioids tend to bind to the same family of receptors in the brain, causing temporary numbing of the brain’s response to painful stimuli. But what actually happens is that the pain doesn’t disappear completely. Instead, it doesn’t bother the individual for a while. This immediate and temporary relief, along with euphoric sensation, leads to an increase in the pain tolerance levels, with each dose making the user dependent on the drug. Nevertheless, seeking timely treatment from a reputed drug abuse rehabilitation center is the key to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

Leading a drug-free life

No individual is born with the intention to abuse drugs in their lives. But once a person gets addicted to a drug, his/her ability to exercise self-restrain can be greatly impacted with the prolonged use of the substance. Besides, the damage to multiple vital organs and body functions is huge. Therefore, if you have a loved one grappling with an addiction and is looking for a reputed addiction treatment center, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help. Call at our 24-hour drug helpline number 855-441-4405 for any drug rehab help. You can even chat online with our representatives for immediate assistance.

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