New Jersey Prescription Drug Addiction

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New Jersey Prescription Drug AddictionDoctors are being asked to be a part of the solution for drug abuse problems across the US, despite the fact that some people accuse them of being an essential part of the problem by distributing mass amounts of prescription medications, making profit from their prescriptions, and not using PMP's, short for prescription monitoring programs. New Jersey is one of the principle states (among many others) with over-the-roof statistics on accidental deaths and cases of addiction.

A recent assistant state medical examiner report has identified over 700 deaths every year due to prescription medication in New Jersey (in both 2011 and 2012 respectively), which was released by Dr. Roger Mitchell. He made compared that to Hurricane Sandy, which took 75 lives last year (2012). "...Are we stronger than this storm," referring to the prescription drug epidemic that has caught many doctors by surprise.

Here are what doctors and citizens are being told about the drug trend in New Jersey in recent times: 843 deaths were accounted for in 2010, rising to 1,027 in 2011-- all directly linked to prescription drug abuse. Later in 2013, the number rose to 1,188. But why are the numbers so high?

Easy accessibility is the first priority. State officials and health specialists are urging for families--especially parents, who have much wider access to prescription medications due to more frequent ailments--to lock their medicine cabinets, and not leave bottles or pills out for their children to see. A lot of times parents take their children's trust for granted, without knowing their child is actually addicted to the drugs they are receiving from doctors. Names like Oxycontin, Percocet, and even Adderall are popular in high schools and parties for young adults, being distributed like candy and used recklessly.

Another factor is mixed drug use, where teenagers and young adults are basically finding new ways to get high, which in reality, are new ways of killing yourself. Alcohol, pills, cocaine, meth, heroin, and others are mixed into one session. This greatly increases the chances of overdosing, and also makes it harder to save lives. Medical personnel are not aware of what toxic substances are in the user's body when being hospitalized, so they end up hoping for the best and unable to provide the right medicines for them.

Now doctors are being challenged to work with law enforcement in the war against drug abuse, by studying their patients more closely and applying Prescription Monitoring Programs in order to red flag who is probably getting more medications they ought to be. PMP is a database that tracks all cases where dangerous medications are being prescribed; the problem is that this database is voluntary, so only about 10 percent of all doctors really use it or take it serious.