Yep, folks in the United States are now popping prescription pills at such an alarming rate that it’s being called a national epidemic. Dr. Barbara Krantz, of the Hanley drug treatment center in Florida, told CBS News we all could have seen it coming:
…and we got there, essentially, in the late 1990s, there was a paradigm shift for treating chronic pain. And at the same time there was direct consumer advertising. So, it made the perfect storm. People now were going to their physicians, and they have arthritis, the weekend warriors, the baby boomers, and they’re saying, ‘I have this pain,’ and doctors are over-prescribing. The most at risk are not the street junkies, the typical stereotype that you would think of, but the people that are working, that are educated, that have had professions that are now looking for that better living through better chemistry.”
Krantz says about 70% of their patients at Hanley are baby boomers; they’ve even developed a special program just for them.
How do you know when you have become truly addicted to your prescription? Krantz says there are definite signs:
Activities abandoned or reduced: “There’s a progressive isolation that occurs in their life. Where they get to is that the drug is the only thing that’s important to them, obtaining the drug.”
Dependence on the drug: “Dependence, tolerance, withdrawal is another sign,” Krantz said.
Duration or amount greater than intended, intra-personal consequences — that they can’t cut down or control it. And when it becomes time-consuming: “What happens,” Krantz said, “is that the person finds themselves needing to take more of the prescription drug than intended or prescribed, and then they’re taking friends, or they’re asking friends for their drugs.
Do you see those signs in yourself or someone you know? You can click here for more information on treatment programs specifically for boomers.