Over Prescription Medication Epidemic




When doctors over-prescribe pain medication, their patients are harmed. Many individuals have undergone surgery or have received pain medication from doctors. Pain medications are helpful to relieve pain and they allow individuals to heal in a comfortable way. Most of the time, hard pain medication is necessary for the overall well being of the individual. On the other hand, prescription pain medication is dangerous when over prescribed. Medications such as Oxycontin and Vicodin are highly addictive, and if they fall into the wrong hands, a variety of things can go wrong. Specifically, when drugs fall into the wrong hands of teenage high school students, catastrophic events can occur.

Teenagers have the long lived reputation of being a bit reckless. Often times they put themselves in dangerous situations and this can lead to serious injuries that can be fatal. The sad truth is that this is actually not uncommon, and most young adults have been in this kind of situation at one time or another. As more and more young people end up in hospitals, they are receiving all sorts of pain medication from their doctors. Although most are unaware, these pain medications can actually be harmful.

The most common surgery high school students experience is the removal of their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are  usually removed when individuals are between the ages of 15-25 years old, but most removals happen in around junior or senior year of high school. Of course, 17 and 18 year olds are growing and experimenting a tremendous amount as they learn who they are as individuals. Along with this, peer pressure greatly contributes to many of the stupid decisions teenagers make. After wisdom teeth surgery there are many young adults that have hard pain medication in their possession, and they end up making all sorts of bad choices, abusing their medication. Many times, patients become addicted to their prescribed medication, and they find their whole life changed by the introduction of that drug in their life. We interviewed a student, Olivia Primack, who had recently experienced getting her wisdom teeth out. We questioned her about how much she really knew about the dangers of the pain medications she was prescribed. When asked about the dangers about prescription medication abuse, she told us this. “I have a distant family member that has struggled with the abuse of pain medications that started as prescription medication from their doctor.” She didn’t like going into much more detail about the issue, but it is evident that the addiction to pain medication had a negative effect on the whole entire family. If medications are misused in any way, the overall outcome will not be positive.

Opioid usage is an epidemic, especially in Massachusetts. In between the months of January and June the death toll in Massachusetts by overdose of opioids increased by 999 deaths between 2010 and 2015. This is alarming for individuals who live in “safe” suburban towns inside of Massachusetts.  An estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012.

It is unsettling to see that the individuals who are supposed to be helping us, could actually be harming us. We were curious to hear the other side of this story, from a doctor’s perspective. We decided to talk to a few of the nurses at a local physician’s office. When we asked their opinion on this topic, they explained, “The doctors are the ones who look bad in this situation, but that is really not the case. Our doctors do their best to prescribe safe medication for their patients in order to help them heal comfortably and correctly. Unfortunately, many people abuse this.”  After hearing this, our reporters thought that one possible solution is for doctors to give a smaller amount of pain medication to heal individuals. After that pain medication is used up, the individual could go back to the doctor and be reassessed to see if more medication would be helpful. There are ways around the over prescription of pain medication, and doctors should put in an effort to minimize the over prescription of pain medication that leads to abuse.