Over the past 20 years, societies in the developed world have made it a priority to eradicate pain, encouraging hospitals and doctors to combat it as aggressively as they might be a life-threatening virus. A public expectation has taken hold that we should all be entitled to lead pain-free lives; but the pursuit of painlessness has come at a high price. The level of prescribing of opioid painkillers has soared, and with it the incidence of addiction and addiction's grim best friend: fatal overdoses and long term side effects. Surveys shows that prescription pill overdoses are killing 15,000 americans a year, and the toll is growing not just in us but globally
The quantity of opium seized in india has been increasing since 2009, when about 1.7 tons were seized, to more than 3 tons in 2012. Amphetamine drugs are often used by the working classas a stimulant to help them work harder, longer and require less food. Not only are they highly addictive but their use can damage motor skills, response times, problem solving skills and cause sexual dysfunction.
Analgesics are those drugs whose primary purpose is pain relief. Analgesics act in various ways on the peripheral and central pain pathways and are regarded as one of the most valuable but equally dangerous groups of medications. Pain and discomfort in everyday life are often treated with over-the-counter (otc) analgesic medications. These drugs are remarkably safe, but serious side effects can occur. Up to 70% of the population in western countries uses analgesics regularly, primarily for headaches, other specific pains and febrile illness.
The primary classes of analgesics are the narcotics, including additional agents that are chemically based on the morphine molecule but have minimal abuse potential; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids) including the salicylates (aspirin); and acetaminophen (panadol/paracetamol). Analgesics provide symptomatic relief but have no effect on causation, although clearly the nsaids, by virtue of their dual activities as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, may be beneficial in both regards.
Painkillers are now widely available over the counter drugs in contradiction to the fact; that it should be used with great caution. Appropriate dosage varies by drug and should consider the type of pain, as well as other risks associated with patient age and condition. For example, narcotic analgesics should usually be avoided in patients with a history of substance abuse but may be fully appropriate in patients with cancer pain. Narcotic analgesics may be contraindicated in patients with poor respiratory function. Nsaids should be used with care in patients with insufficient kidney function.
The most significant side effects associated with nsaid usage are gastric irritation, bronchospasm, renal impairment and many more.analgesic nephropathy is injury to the kidney caused by analgesic medications such as aspirin, phenacetin, paracetamol. Analgesic nephropathy occurs in about 4 out of 100,000 people, mostly women over 30. The rate has decreased significantly since phenacetin is no longer widely available in otc preparations.
Long-term use of painkillers can lead to physical dependence. The body adapts to the presence of the substance and if one stops taking the drug abruptly, withdrawal symptoms occur. Or the body could build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning that higher doses have to be taken to achieve the same effects.
Like all drugs, painkillers simply mask the pain for which they are taken. They don’t “cure” anything. Someone continuously trying to dull the pain may find himself taking higher and higher doses—only to discover that he cannot make it through the day without the drug.
Symptoms of withdrawal can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (known as “cold turkey”), and involuntary leg movements
Among those using illicit drugs for the first time in 2007, the most popular substances were marijuana and prescription painkillers—each used by roughly the same number of population aged 12 and older. Non-medical use of painkillers rose 12%.
Misuse of painkillers represents three-fourths of the overall problem of prescription drug abuse. In the uk, tens of thousands of people are said to be dependent on painkillers such as solpadine and neurofen plus.
Doctors and rehabilitation therapists report that prescription painkiller abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to treat.
The truth about drugs
Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.
This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.
But many drugs have another liability: they directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.
Why do people take drugs
People take drugs because they want to change something in their lives.
Here are some of the reasonspeople have given for taking drugs:
• to relive pain
• to relax or escape pain related anxiety
• to relieve boredom/or rebel
• to feel good
• to focus
• to experiment
They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.
Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.
In some schools, as many as 20% of the students take the drug regularly. The drug enforcement administration found that many of these schools had more of these drugs than the neighborhood pharmacy. In india an ngo survey revealed that 63.6 % of patients coming in for treatment were introduced to drugs at a young age below 15 years.
Why is it so common? It seems so simple at first. A student gets a little behind in his studies. An exam comes up and he needs to prepare. He’ll have to stay up late to have even a chance of making the grade. Coffee gives him the jitters, but many of his friends use these pills to give the extra energy they need. Why not? A couple of bucks; one pill; an entire night of study; a feeling of “focus.”
That may be where it starts, but it is very often not where it ends.
Some students are chopping up ritalin and snorting it like cocaine for faster absorption. “it keeps you awake for hours,” said one.
And just like cocaine or any other stimulant, that nice “up feeling” is inevitably followed by a “crash,” a feeling of fatigue, depression and decreased alertness. Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulantused to treat attention deficit disorder (add), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd), and narcolepsy.
Even when ritalin is used as a prescription drug, it may have severe effects including nervousness, insomnia, anorexia, loss of appetite, pulse changes, heart problems and weight loss. The manufacturer says it is a drug of dependency
Tolerance increases, so one has to use more. In these larger doses, ritalin can lead to convulsions, headaches and hallucinations. The powerful amphetamine-like substance can even lead to death, as in the many tragic cases of children who have died of heart attacks caused by damage linked to the drug. Street namesof Ritalin- Poor man’s cocaine, kiddie cocaine, Diet coke
There was a rationale to treating pain aggressively with opioids. But 10 years down the line we have come to understand the consequences. The same escalating use and abuse of powerful painkillers can be found in rich societies across europe to antipodes. Historically, men used illicit drugs more often than women, and prescription drug use was often associated with the lower socioeconomic statuses has now extended to elite classes.
Drug abuse isn't just about street drugs. Besides marijuana, legal medicines are the most commonly abused drugs around the world. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can help and heal us. But some can be addictive and dangerous if they’re used the wrong way. Say no to overuse of painkillers and encourage your family to do so. Enrichyourselfwith healthy food , active lifestyle ,fun filled physical activities and productive exercise.
Keep your family safe and free from drugs.