A Quick Fix Mentality
America is facing a prescription drug epidemic. The media is filled with promises of instant solutions, for everything from making more money, to finding love, to self-improvement through chemical means. When it comes to personal well-being, Americans have the tendency to seek out a quick fix. Chemical solutions are widely available for every ailment out there. People seek prescription medications to fall asleep at night, to relax, to enhance attention and productivity and to relieve pain. This isn’t to say that people don’t greatly benefit from modern medicine. While prescription medications have the ability to help people manage symptoms and save lives, there is a line that can be easily crossed when quick fixes become a substitute for internal work. Americans are taking more prescription medications than ever and benzodiazepine overdoses along with opiate overdoses are on the rise. This is a dangerous trend that is about more than just one drug; it is about an overarching mentality. Young people in recovery and those looking for it pay the price when it comes to them getting sober.
The Epidemic of Over-Prescribing
People, who can’t fall asleep at night, go to their physician and get prescribed a prescription sleep aid. People who are hoping to improve attention and enhance productivity are often able to obtain a prescription stimulant medication. People who experience pain, regardless of the severity, are often able to get prescription opioid drugs. Although prescription medications play a vital role in modern medicine, prescription medication addiction continues to be on the rise. Research has found that there are 16 million prescriptions written for painkillers each year and 5 million prescriptions written for sleep aids. People who regularly take a prescription medication often become emotionally and physically dependent upon the drug. This dependence has the ability to develop into an addiction. A common misconception is that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Prescription drug addiction is serious and can be life threatening. Approximately 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them each year. This isn’t taking into account individuals who die from prescription drugs obtained through illicit channels. The prescription pain medication problem in society today has recently been labeled an “opioid epidemic”. Where and how did this “opioid epidemic” start, if not with legitimately obtained prescriptions?
When Did Chemical Assistance Become the Norm?
Although prescription medications play a vital role in modern medicine, looking for a quick, chemical fix to any and every problem creates bigger issues for the individual and for society. When did chemical assistance become the norm? More often than not, people are obtaining prescription drugs prior to attempting other methods of treatment. There are non-pharmaceutical treatment methods available to treat a variety of issues. Behavioral modification is just one method that teaches coping skills to treat issues that may “warrant” a prescription medication. Unfortunately, many people don’t attempt non-medicinal methods of treatment prior to seeking out medication. Americans are immersed in a culture that accepts and embraces instant gratification. Pharmaceutical companies use a variety of manipulative techniques, like advertisement, to entice people looking for relief. Many people in society today rely upon a quick fix when it comes to every area of their life.
The Pharmaceutical Company Influence
Pharmaceutical companies play a large role in the over-prescribing of medicine. Advertising is a big part of the problem. In the 1990s, it became legal for drug companies to advertise on television. Since then, patients have become more “proactive” in asking their physician about prescription medications. . Pharmaceutical companies have extremely effective marketing campaigns, which attract consumers. Television advertisements and the Internet have created a culture where people are constantly being bombarded with supposed solutions to everyday problems. Although it is ultimately up to the physician whether or not a prescription medication is prescribed, the influence of these pharmaceutical corporate advertisements can’t be ignored.
Prescription Medication, Addiction and Treatment
Users often employ various methods to obtain abusable prescription drugs. Doctor shopping, prescription forgery and fraud, theft, illegitimate online pharmacies and drug dealers are some of the ways users obtain prescription medications. Individuals who are addicted to prescription medications experience both an emotional and physical dependence upon the drug. A medical detox is almost always recommended. The reality is, the drug addict is only part of this problem – a culture focused on quick fixes and the accessibility of abusable prescription medications also have a role.
Dealing with this problem is just as important as identifying it though. Effective addiction specialists do more than just treat addiction with medication – they employ a holistic approach to help individuals achieve sobriety. There is no quick fix that will allow someone to recover. There are various levels of addiction treatment that fall upon a spectrum. Counseling and therapy are two methods of treatment that are able to help address and identify the substance abuse issues and underlying issues that contributed to the substance abuse. Outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment offer varying degrees of assistance during the recovery process. Inpatient, or residential treatment, offers 24-hour care for addicts. Sober living homes offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals in recovery.
Know Someone Struggling With Addiction?
As the family member of someone who struggles with addiction, don’t allow yourself to be sold on the promise of a quick fix. Real recovery takes hard work and effort. The process of achieving freedom from addiction is not something that can be done in a once a month doctor visit to have a prescription refilled. When looking for a program or specialist to work with yourself or a loved one, make sure that they understand this concept and be wary of anyone that promises a quick fix. Addiction is a life-threatening disease but recovery is possible if the right steps are taken. How do you feel about the quick fix culture that we live in? Let us know in the comments section below!