CNN brief Summary: The duration of a prescription may give clues into how long a person ends up using a narcotic painkiller, addiction being a great possibility. The study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds that when a prescription is for eight or more days, your likelihood of using the drug a year later jumps to 13.5%. And although just less than 7% of all prescriptions exceed a month’s dosage, using for 31 days or more increases your chances of long-term opioid use to 29.9%. Considering that prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone were involved overdoses in 2015, experts have said, management of prescription drug overdoses is a key element of fighting the opioid epidemic. The authors evaluated and followed 1.2 million patients who received prescriptions for opioid painkillers between 2006 and 2015, except those with cancer, who are frequently prescribed opioids on a long-term basis to manage pain. In addition to duration of prescription, the type of narcotic prescribed was an indicator of the odds someone would still be using the drug a year later. Another concern about prescription pills is the fact that painkiller use has been linked to heroin use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, half of all young people who inject heroin started by abusing painkillers. In 2016, the CDC established guidelines for prescribing narcotics for chronic pain.
My Analysis: Drug issues have been becoming a great issue, always has been, but addiction and heroin usage has increased drastically. It is worrying to think of people becoming addicts because of prescription pills. Some being stronger than others, depending what you have or what you were given to deal with the situation. The hard thing is, when someone is going through pain they do not realize how dependent they are getting on these drugs, just to feel the peace and relief. After a while, being without the drugs will feel like you are dying, but then again those are considered withdrawals from an addiction. That is when someone need to get help, but by then it is usually to late. Some people can not help it, but if the person is strong enough and the less time they use the prescription the less of the risk they have in becoming an addict.