We have to change the public mindset that ‘all prescription drugs are harmless’—education is the key, and patients need to be made aware of the risks involved.
New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 29, 2013
Prescription drugs have long been claiming the lives of many individuals, costing nearly 15,000 lives each year (1). But who becomes addicted has changed: addicted individuals are no longer only “street people” or “hard core addicts”—a growing epidemic of overdoses is now rampant among women. Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida detox centers serving high-dosage prescription drug abuse patients across the U.S., is calling on healthcare professionals to educate American women and stop prescription drug abuse in its tracks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an alarming 18 women die every day from prescription drug overdose (2). Studies have shown that women are particularly at risk for prescription drug abuse, for several reasons (3):
●Women go “doctor shopping.” Females are less likely than men to settle for the first doctor they find, and may shop around until they find a doctor willing to prescribe painkillers for them.
●Women are more likely to experience chronic pain—possibly because hormones play a role in sustained periods of pain.
●Women are prescribed painkillers for longer periods of time than men, and typically receive higher doses.
Novus, which recently received accreditation from The Joint Commission, says that detox is the first step in stemming the rise of prescription drug abuse and saving women and families from ruined lives. However, per Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon, because the withdrawal process for prescription drugs is so difficult, its abusers often avoid detox and rehab programs at all costs—and even turn to alcohol or other drugs when the prescriptions can no longer be obtained:
"We had a woman [at Novus] recently who sang in the church choir, was a stay-at-home mom, had beautiful children and a businessman husband. She was the classic middle class mom. She had back surgery, which led her to prescription drugs for the pain. She realized soon after starting to take the prescription medication that she was in trouble. She did not want to stop initially and then reached a point where she did not believe that she could stop. I remember her telling me her story and saying ‘I cannot believe what I am telling you about what I have been doing...I am lucky to be alive.’ She was correct, she was one of the lucky ones...she found help."
Runyon says that not only are safe and effective detox centers critical in combating prescription drug abuse in women, but healthcare professionals must also call attention to this very real problem by making patients aware of the side effects and potentially addictive qualities of prescription drugs.
“We need to call attention to this very real problem in the lives of many women today. Making them aware of the potentially harmful side effects of prescription drugs could go a long way in curbing this rising epidemic,” said Runyon. “We have to change the public mindset that ‘all prescription drugs are harmless’—education is the key, and patients need to be made aware of the risks involved.”
For women with conditions that require prescription drug use, Novus urges that women first ask doctors the following questions:
1.Should I expect any side effects? Many prescription drugs can cause side effects which range from mild to severe, but if the side effects are worse than the original ailment the drug was meant to cure, an alternative treatment method may be advisable.
2.Does the medication have a high potential for abuse or addiction? This should be considered, since some prescription meds are far more addictive than others. Research shows that some drugs trick the brain into craving more drugs while simultaneously damaging the parts that can control those cravings (4).
3.What are the alternatives? Look for a course of action that will treat the issue, rather than cover it up. Many medications will mask pain and discomfort, but don’t actually address the underlying source of the problem.
To learn more about the Novus Medical Detox center and its addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.
About Novus Medical Detox Center
Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an in-patient medical detox facility and is accredited by The Joint Commission. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medications, drugs and alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center, please visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.
1.“Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.” Cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. cdc.gov/Features/VitalSigns/PainkillerOverdoses/index.html.
2.“Prescription Painkiller Overdoses.” Cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 July 2013. Web. 14 Aug. 2013. cdc.gov/vitalsigns/PrescriptionPainkillerOverdoses/.
3.Chan, Amanda L. “Drug Overdose Deaths From Prescription Painkillers Spike Among Middle-Aged Women.” Huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post, 02 July 2013. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/drug-overdose-deaths-middle-aged-women-prescription-painkillers_n_3535847.html.
4.Catan, Thomas, Devlin Barrett, and Timothy Martin. “Prescription for Addiction.” Onlinewsj.com. Wall Street Journal, 05 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 June 2013. online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444223104578036933277566700.html.