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Prescription Drug Overdoses Now Outnumber Deaths from Heroin and Cocaine Combined

I wish I could say I didn't see this coming.  A few years ago I worked in a methadone clinic which treats people with opiate dependence.  It quickly became apparent that the prescription drugs OxyContin and Xanax were more problematic than the heroin we were treating.  Even on my small case load one of my clients died, another lost 60% of his kidney function and many others suffered serious impairments to functioning. 

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times looks at the problem.  The proposed solution is to crack down on doctors.  But this seems to be attacking the symptoms instead of the actual problem.  Most of the clients I worked with saw multiple doctors and lied about it, so the doctors couldn't know what they were mixing the drugs the prescribed with.  Granted, there are a few rogue doctors handing out drugs like candy.  I quickly came to know the names of these doctors in my community.  But doctors can't force medication on someone who doesn't want them. 

Doctors who "sell" presciptions for cash should be dealt with.  But this doesn't address the real problem, why do people want to bombed out of their minds?  If someone wants to be unconscious, they are going to achieve that end.  If they don't get prescription drugs they are going to use street drugs or drink themselves into a coma. 

Better mental health treatment and a focus on dealing with the psychic pain which causes people to seek numbness is the permanent solution.



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Very well said Kellen,

Attacking the symptoms seems to be the knee-jerk reaction in our societies today. I so wish people were educated to solve the problems instead.

If our people didn't feel the need to numb with drugs, there would be less crime too, there would be no need for countries to grow drugs; they would grow grain instead and we would have a much healthier relationship with these countries too.

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