Inevitable Opioid Addiction Contradicted by Hoarders

American hoarders helping push up rates of opioid addiction, overdose – Tim Mullaney, special to CNBC – Sept 2017

Your medicine cabinet could be contributing to the opioid epidemic.

What happened the last time you were prescribed an opioid? If you’re like most people, you didn’t finish them — and didn’t dispose of them — in effect, making you a potential source of illicit drugs and addiction that has been exploding across America.

What utter nonsense. Recent data shows that opioid prescriptions are already at a 10-year low. (See Overdoses Increasing While Opioid Rx at 10-year Low)  

Drug users have moved on to more plentiful, less expensive, and more accessible opioids they can simply buy on the street.

But these days, street drugs like heroin or black market opioid pills frequently contain fentanyl, which is cheaper, easier to buy, and much more powerful, thus also making an overdose much more likely.

This rogue supply of painkiller is alarming, given the latest data on addiction deaths: Even after years of heightened attention from politicians and the press to the nationwide opioid epidemic, 2016 saw an increase in overdose deaths of 21 percent, with rates of synthetic-opioid deaths doubling, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are around 200 million opioid scripts a year. … It’s an extraordinary reserve,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University who worked on drug policy for the Obama administration. “That’s just as many scripts as there are adults; it’s such a huge reservoir to tap. … Lots of people just don’t think about it,” Humphreys said.

As many as 92 percent of patients don’t finish their painkillers,

That means “as many as 92%” did NOT become addicted. 

An addicted person cannot hoard their drug of choice. Addiction is a compulsion to use, so they use the drug continually until it’s all gone. If patients have opioid pills sitting around and don’t take them, it proves they aren’t addicted.

Yet we repeatedly hear about people being prescribed opioids and many of them becoming addicted. But here we have 90% of patients with their unused opioids, with no compulsion to take them.

Many patients stop taking pills because their pain has receded, according to between 42 percent and 71 percent of those studied. A smaller group of patients stopped taking the pills because of side effects.

Again, this is a sign they are using the medication only for pain, NOT to feed an addiction. 

Opioids account for 2 million people with a substance-abuse problem, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Most people with opioid problems began by using pills they were prescribed as pain relievers, but more recent twists in the epidemic include a resurgence of heroin addiction and abuse of fentanyl, the drug that singer Prince overdosed on last year.

I’ll bet all people with opioid problems “began” by using alcohol, or maybe coffee, or aspirin too. 

Original article: American hoarders helping push up rates of opioid addiction, overdose

3 thoughts on “Inevitable Opioid Addiction Contradicted by Hoarders

  1. leejcaroll

    wonder point that if we were addicted we would have to finish the bottle. (And for many of us we dont throw them out so in times of increased pain we have enough to get thorugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy C

    People hold on to things, just in case. Doctors wrote prescription so that people would not have to return in two or three days. The way that healthcare is rationed in this country it can be Months between appointments or follow ups. Even the Opiate Prescribing Laws, contributed to this Hoarding. Doctors could not call in a prescription if a patient reported ore pain. They had to see them in person at an appointment to write a prescription. Since they were aware that it could take weeks to schedule and appointment, they wrote the prescriptions to allow the patient to control their own pain in that time. Patients filled these prescriptions, just in case, and becasue Insurance paid for them.

    It is also difficult for people recovering from an injuury or surgery to go to the Pharmacy, in person. Opiate Laws, the number of Prescriptions Pharmacists are required to fill, and Insurance requirements make filling a prescription an ordeal. The Big Box Stores, ran most of the small community Pharmacies out of business making a trip to the pharmacy an ordeal. In the interest of big businesses, and their profits, pharmacists time was maximized. Meaning they are forced to turn out an assemble line of medications. At the same time they had to deal with different insurance Company procedures for billing, that takes more time than filling the prescription.

    Some Insurance Companies do not allow a second prescription for an Opiate in a monthly billing, this forced Physicians to write a 30 day supply. They had to predict who might possibly need more pain control, and cover them for a month. Due to the number of patients they are forced to see, they could not have a patient return if their pain increased. It was easier for the Physician, patient and the Pharmacists to write a 30 day supply. This was due to the way the System is set up, to maximize Corporate Profits.

    Liked by 1 person


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