Millions of people suffer with terrible bodily pain. The only way they get through each day is by taking pills that alleviate the aches and suffering. They understand the relief is only temporary, but there is no easy alternative. They must get up and go to work and get things done, and they need a way around their pain. Hopefully for them, the alleviation of symptoms is substantial enough that it stabilizes their quality of life.
However, problems can occur when patients rely on pain medications (or opioids) the same way they rely on food and drink. Addiction can also develop if the pills are left unattended for others to get their hands on, or if they are given away to an un-prescribed source without thought about the dangers or harm. The hard cold facts about opioids are that these drugs and can do serious harm, and their use must be carefully regulated by a professional or else the repercussions could be dire.
The results of a study completed by The American Medical Association are startling: people who consume high doses of prescriptions painkillers have a greater risk of death. In 2009, an estimated 37,485 people died as a result of drug overdoses and brain damage from long-term drug abuse. Meanwhile the death toll from motor vehicle mishaps was 36,284. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control expected the number of drug-related deaths would rise. Prescription drugs were to blame for the increased death toll, says Dr. Leonard Paulozzi, medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s division of unintentional injury prevention. He added that the bulk of drug-related deaths were from accidental opioid overdoses.