Drug abuse in this country has hit EPIDEMIC levels. And it's not marijuana or crack or even meth . . . no, the people in this country are becoming brain-dead ZOMBIES off of drugs that are LEGAL. But clearly, that doesn't make them less dangerous.
--Prescription drug abuse, especially painkillers and antidepressants, is hitting an all-time high. It's such a massive problem that experts are calling it "Pharmageddon." Check out these stats . . .
--Over the last two decades, the number of people who've died from prescription drug overdoses has gone up 500%.
--For the first time ever, in 15 states and Washington, D.C., prescription drug overdoses have passed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death.
--About 70% of the people over-medicating themselves and abusing prescription drugs are baby boomers.
--By 12th grade, 10% of teenagers say they've tried Vicodin and 5% have used OxyContin.
--At least 2.5% of the adults in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs every month.
--How did we get here? Dr. Barbra Krantz works as the medical director at the Hanley Center, which is a drug treatment center in Florida.
--She says, quote, "In the late 1990s, there was a paradigm shift for treating chronic pain. And at the same time there was direct consumer advertising. People were going to physicians saying 'I have this pain' and doctors are over-prescribing."
--If you think someone in your life might be addicted to painkillers, antidepressants or other prescription drugs, here are some of the warning signs you should keep an eye out for . . . so you can get them help before something tragic happens.
#1.) Activities abandoned. People start withdrawing and isolating themselves, only trying to take the drug or get more of the drug.
#2.) Dependence on the drug. If they don't have their drug, do they start panicking, lashing out, or even showing physical signs of withdrawal?
#3.) Asking friends for the drug. As abuse gets worse, they start using up their prescriptions too quickly. So they start going to friends, new doctors, or anyone who can get them more.
(--These kinds of numbers scare the HELL out of us. Prescription drugs don't get anywhere close to the attention "illegal" drugs get, but can destroy every aspect of a person's life and put them in mortal danger EXACTLY the same.)
(--Just because a doctor writes you a prescription for a drug and you don't get it off some sketchy dealer on the street, that doesn't mean it's not still A DRUG. A way to chemically alter your mind and body.)
(--We understand that there are situations where you need to take medicine. This isn't an indictment of all medications. The problem begins when you start relying on drugs to make you feel better . . . and then take more and more just to feel regular.)
(--So please, consider all this before you ask a doctor to give you Vicodin for your pain or to give you Xanax because you've been having some panic attacks. Please explore your other options. Please stop and think.)
(--No, you don't want to be in physical or mental pain, but think about the cost of getting past it. These drugs can HOOK YOU and RUIN YOU. I don't want to give away control of my brain and become a walking zombie, dead inside.)
(--When that happens, YOU are not YOU anymore. And there's no drug or quick solution to a problem that's worth that.)