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Role of doctors in prescription drug abuse

Role of doctors in prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is defined as using a controlled substance with mind-altering effects without a prescription from a medical doctor or by abusing medication prescribed to you for the purpose of getting “high”. The sole purpose of getting this prescription is to achieve the pleasurable effects felt by the medication. Prescription drugs that are most commonly abused are usually opioids such as vicodin and oxycontin, and benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax. Prescription drug use has gone worldwide and it claims even the tiniest of victims: newborn drug addicted babies.

Patients and drug users alike use different methods of attaining prescriptions for these drugs illegally but they can also be sought after legally through doctor “shopping”. This is where the role of medical doctors in prescription drug abuse comes in. Manipulating doctors, forging symptoms and prescription, and using online pharmacies are typical ways of attaining prescription drugs.

Because most medical doctors are lacking education in addiction, a large majority of physicians in the U.S knowingly or unknowingly contribute to prescription drug abuse because they lack the skill and or knowledge to diagnose and treat addictive diseases. Many addicts claim that medical professionals will treat them as “less than” as soon as they realize they are an addict but will still provide them with the prescription. It’s as if because they are addicts then they don’t feel the need to help them stop abusing drugs.

The role of medical doctors in prescription drug abuse is huge. There are currently around 780,000 licensed medical doctors in the U.S. , and about 15,000 of those are new graduates. Only a little over half of those medical doctors believe it is their job to prevent prescription drug abuse. The scariest part is that these medical doctors admit to only having 2 hours or less of training in prescription drug diversion in medical school, their residency, and continuing medical education.

The role of medical doctors in prescription drug abuse begins with undertrained physicians who proceed to treat symptoms of whatever disease the patient has without treating the actual disease of addiction itself. The most common symptoms of addiction such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and migraines are treated just as symptoms and not as a disease as a whole. This leads medical doctors to prescribe controlled narcotics that aren’t necessarily appropriate for someone with an addiction. The role of medical doctors in prescription drug abuse is their readiness and willingness to prescribe controlled narcotics to treat symptoms that leads to unwitting or witting abuse by the patient. The patient will continue to take the prescription drugs and be left with an addiction that is very harmful.

There are solutions to the role medical doctor’s play in prescription drug abuse. For starters, medical doctors need more education about addiction and h0w to properly treat addicts. They need to be able to spot when a person is making up symptoms and excuses to gain access to more medication. They need to be able to use a database to cross reference other clinics and physicians whom are also treating and prescribing them medications. Medical doctors should also be required to demonstrate full competence when it comes to prescribing controlled substances and complete training in pain management, addiction and substance abuse.

It is the responsibility of medical doctors to realize their role in prescription drug abuse throughout the United States. Especially if they have not been adequately trained in addiction and managing addictive disease nor prescribing controlled substances.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for their Prescription Drug Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at

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