Currently viewing the tag: "sedatives"

The new drug cultureI’m usually of the opinion, “Live and let live.” I mean, as long as people are given all the current and relevant information, then it’s up to them as to how they wish to live their lives (for the most part anyway). Let’s take drugs for instance: You want to shoot heroin? As long as you do it in the privacy of your own home, with no children exposed to the lifestyle, and you are not harming anyone other than yourself, AND I don’t have to pay for you, or it, through welfare programs, then go ahead—live it up!

Funny but I am certain that many of you reading this, or “still reading,” as the case may be, are shaking your heads in disapproval right now. “Live it up!? On heroin?…How irresponsible.” Yet far too many people still have no problem with doctors doling out dangerous medications like they are candy. Heck many of you are probably on your own fair share, because THAT’S the modern “health care” climate today. And the faction that’s actually aware of—and in firm opposition to—this cultural dysfunction is tiny; growing perhaps, but minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

But you are live and let live, Campos!

prescription drug overdosesRight! If people can make an informed choice… so that means they get ALL the relevant information, not just the selective sh** that were suppositorily fed by the pharmaceutical pushers and manufacturers. And before you think I’m of the Big This or Big That conspiracy club, think again: I look to the consumer as having the most responsibility because IT’S YOUR HEALTH! You better care enough, or put your life willingly in the hands of your cultural health authorities.

Face it: Most junkies know quite clearly in what ways they are f**king themselves up, and they make the choice regardless; however, they make informed choices—do you? Here’s what makes me convinced the bulk of Americans (westerners in general really) do not:

  • Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States
  • Drug overdose deaths from prescription drugs (53% in 2012) have surpassed those from recreational drugs (47%)
  • Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes
  • In 2012, 79.9% of the 41,502 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional
  • In 2012, 53%  of the 41,502 drug overdose deaths in the United States were related to pharmaceuticals
  • Most common prescription drugs leading to overdose death:
    • 70% involved opioid analgesics (aka prescription pain killers) – OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, etc
    • 30% involved benzodiazepines (sedatives) – Xanax, Valium, etc
  • People who died of drug overdoses often had a combination of benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics in their bodies

prescriptiondrugdeaths (Copy)And you know what the number one most dangerous activity one can do when it comes to prescription drugs, and that includes over-the-counter medications (like cold medicines)? Drinking alcohol while on them! Duh!

You still want those pain killers, junkie? Live it up! But understand something that every heroin addict must: each day on your (doctor prescribed) fix could just be your last. Okay now you are informed.

Amazing as it may seem, medicines routinely taken for granted as safe are turning out to be more cause than cure.  This is especially true as they relate to drug overdoses.  For the first time in history, pharmaceuticals have caught up to illicit drugs in the number of overdoses they cause every year, according to a government report released yesterday.

As recently as five years ago, illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine led in ER visits from overdoses as compared to prescription drugs by a margin of 2:1.  But in 2008, ERs saw an estimated 1 million overdoses from over-the-counter and prescription meds–mostly painkillers and sedatives.

When it comes to ODing, painkillers are king, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone, with ER visits from overdoses more than doubling from 2004 to 2008.  Data was collected from more than 200 U.S. hospitals.  Although many of the cases were overdoses, some were from mixing drugs, or mixing drugs and alcohol.

I find this news particularly disturbing, although not very surprising.  All one need do is take inventory of all recent celebrity drug overdoses to observe the unfortunate trend.  When I was a kid, many a celebrity OD’d and died–John Belushi from speedballs, Jimi Hendrix from barbiturates, and River Phoenix from heroin and coke (to see a list of celebrity drug deaths).  Today seems no different–celebrities dropping like flies–however, they are doing so from legal prescription meds.  Michael Jackson (lethal dose of propofol along with two sedatives), Heath Ledger (oxycodone, hydrocodone, temazepam, and others), Anna Nicole Smith (lethal combination of chloral hydrate and various benzodiazepines), and on and on and on.

As I said, no surprises, though.  Retail sales of five major leading painkillers nearly doubled over an eight-year period from 1997 and 2005, according to Drug Enforcement Administration figures.  The only thing I find real surprising is that “health officials are not sure why painkiller abuse rose so dramatically.”  Well, duh!!!  Doctors today write prescriptions like they are going out of style, for everything from sniffles to hangnails.  What the heck do they think is going to result?  I wouldn’t care that much except many of these arrogant stethoscope holders absolutely refuse to accept so-called alternative methods for treating pain.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga therapy and massage are all possible long-term solutions to pain, but doctors aren’t passing referrals.  Oh, one of those alternatives didn’t work?  Try another–every one of those beats a daily Fentanyl patch.

Counting on painkillers is not the answer, docs.  And consumers better listen, too.  The man in the white coat isn’t responsible for your lack of discipline, your lack of initiative to find a real solution to your physical problems, or your lack of understanding that you aren’t supposed to mix your hydrocodone…with coke!  Geez.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Nick Campos - All Rights Reserved.