When most people think about drug abuse and addiction, prescription medications usually don’t come to mind. Instead, they picture substances like cocaine, heroin, meth, and other illicit drugs. However, prescription drug abuse has become a major problem in the United States in recent years. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), more than 2 million people of the estimated 20.5 million Americans who were using and abusing drugs were addicted to prescription pain medications.
There are numerous types of prescription pain relievers, including Codeine, Fentanyl, Hdrocodone, Oxycodone, and Morphine. These synthetic medications are intended to ease the discomfort that people experience as a result of chronic or severe pain. When taken responsibly and under the guidance of a medical professional, prescription pain medications are very effective. Many people assume that because these medications – like morphine – are prescribed by medical professionals, they are safe and that there aren’t any adverse risks. However, in reality, many of these drugs do carry serious risks, including dependency and health complications.