Preventing medication fraud and abuse starts at home
(BPT) - Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions across the United States. More than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs and much of the abuse begins at home, according to a national survey on drug use and health. In fact, more than 70 percent of those who illegally use prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or family, including surreptitiously raiding the home medicine cabinet. However, a recent study revealed that only 19 percent of parents are concerned about the misuse of narcotic pain medicines in their own families, showing that many do not recognize the severity of the problem.
The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids or narcotic pain medications. When used along with other prescription medications like benzodiazepines and muscle relaxers, they deliver a cocaine-like high. Abuse accounts for 84 percent of patient-related prescription drug fraud, according to research by Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager.
“Narcotic pain killers can be essential in the treatment of a variety of serious medical conditions; unfortunately they can also ruin lives when used improperly or abused,” says Jo-Ellen Abou Nader, senior director of Express Scripts’ Fraud, Waste and Abuse program. “Ending the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse demands constant vigilance and this includes proper storage and disposal of these medications.”
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