People don’t realize the severity of prescription drug abuse in the United States. While most people turn a blind eye to the issue, 28.6 million Americans age 12 and over struggle with substance abuse (2018 Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics You Need To Know). Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that is rapidly growing in the U.S.. It’s caused a great deal of struggle between, doctors, patients, and the law. People are genetically prone to addiction. Such phenomenon was simply unavoidable. Abuse and addiction takes a heavy toll on families of victims. Because of the growing numbers of addicts and consequences, laws and limitations had to be put into play. However even these laws had a negative effect on the innocent that truly are in need of such drugs and treatments.
Prescription drug abuse has reached very large numbers and a very wide-spread area in the U.S.. Not many people understand just how large this epidemic has become. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.1 million Americans are addicted to legal narcotics, and more than 30,000 opioid-related deaths occurred in 2015 (“Prescription Medication Abuse”). This means that about 1 in every 100 Americans are addicted to opioid drugs. Innocent lives that once had a bright future are disappearing because of these highly addictive prescriptions. However, the doctors prescribing medications are not the only scapegoat.
Humans naturally have the tendency to keep going back to something that gives them pleasure or at least helps them forget about negativity. All people have a genetic disposition for addiction, due to an evolutionary advantage to identifying foods and substances that provide pleasure…(“Prescription Medication Abuse”). No one ever wants to become an addict, but for many Americans, one dose of a prescription for an injury leads to a whole road of destruction. It’s an epidemic that could’ve been avoided if the research had presented such results sooner or in a more obvious manner, for these genes are not very prominent.
Although it is difficult to locate and identify addiction genes,’ researchers believe that genetics may nonetheless play a role, since a person with an immediate family member who struggles with addiction is at a statistically higher risk for substance abuse themselves (“Prescription Medication Abuse”). Another catalyst to addiction is surrounding environmental factors. Unfortunately, not everyone in America comes from a comfortable and happy childhood.
Not every American is living happily and comfortably as an adult either. Environmental issues can also add to the likelihood of abuse, as children who grow up in a family culture of addiction or who are introduced to substances at an early age are more likely to become addicts (“Prescription Medication Abuse”). With the addiction gene and harsh environmental factors, it makes the perfect conditions for a serious drug addiction, taking a toll on both the addict and their loved ones.
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