When I stopped practicing pharmacy, the opioid pain pills were fast becoming the number one prescribed group of drugs in both dollar amount and number of pills. That is a remarkable statement in its own right, but the fact that the FDA and other governing agencies have looked the other way is even more remarkable. Here’s another one: the United States only has 5% of the worlds population, but we consume 90% of the opioids.
The blame goes to many: government, medical professionals and the public. The attached article shows that one group of doctors, neurologists, have recognized that pain relief from these drugs reaches a point of diminishing return after just a few months. It is simple – our neurotransmitters can’t keep up with the longevity of the presence of the medication in the body, and reach a new homeostasis. The final result is a physical addiction or dependence.
These drugs are simply over prescribed and no follow up is done to try alternative therapies. Many doctors neglect the necessity of having a personal relationship with the patient and short cut exams due to time constraints. With a death toll of over 100,000 and counting as a result of this overprescribing, we need the FDA and DEA to step in now and educate doctors by tying their DEA registration to formal instruction on addiction and overprescribing.