Prescription Drug Regulation | Teen Ink

Prescription Drug Regulation

January 13, 2021
By Anonymous

Being a kid in America you shouldn't have to be afraid to take a medication that a doctor prescribes you. My insurance company approved narcotics for my course of post op treatment before considering an option other than prescription drugs. I was 15 yrs old and prescribed a very high narcotic pain killer for after my surgery, but I knew I wouldn't take them until needed.

All Americans should be aware of the potential risks of taking prescription drugs, and pharmaceutical companies need to take responsibility for their role in causing addiction.

Thousands of people are dying because of drugs that were prescribed, and often this drug leads them to their killer drug. 21 to 29 percent of patients that have had chronic pain misused them, with chronic pain being the easiest way for Americans to get access to hard drugs. 8 to 12 percent of those patients develop an opioid disorder, and 4 to 6 percent of them turn to heroin as a way to get rid of pain. 

When you look at the percentage of people who misuse those drugs it worries me knowing that number is so high. Americans today are having a higher chance of becoming addicted to opioids because of the doctors just writing prescriptions for the drugs, not thinking about how a human brain might react under the circumstances. We learn that everyone is different in this world so why are we prescribing a drug to one patient because it worked on the others. Doctors should get to know what the patient wants and if their family or them are addicts.

Pharmaceutical companies are now admitting in court that they are playing a role in the opioid epidemic. GlaxoSmithKline said that their drug Paxil can be used to treat depression in patients 18 and under. The FDA said that they have never approved it for pediatric use. This is a type of drug that could have sprouted an addictive tendency or even have caused suicidal tendencies to show up in the young kids who never had it before. Wellbutrin was another drug for example that was miss labeled by this company saying that it helped with substance addiction and other medical problems.

It is scary to see how carelessly this company just slapped a label on it saying that it would help with depression in young teens. Depression is a brain disease that we shouldn't be messing around with, it takes many lifes with it down a dark path. With these large companies not getting their products checked out by the FDA, how do we know that all of their other medications are not being abused by the company too? If they have done this to a couple of medications they could be doing this to the other ones as well. We need to take a deeper look into the company's products and look into what they are saying the drug should be used for. What startles me is how they just admitted to it, if you were going to admit to it why not take it through the right steps in the first place?

Kids are our next generation addicts and they have easier access to any drug. When NIDA did a survey in 2014 more than 5,700 kids admitted to using prescription painkillers without a doctor's note.

As mentioned earlier, many chronic pain patients can get these opioids with a prescription. With many teens playing sports in high school they are lucky to not get some type of injury. There are many times that they are told to walk it off and that they will be fine. If untreated the teen could come dependent on Ibuprofen, if that doesn't help them for long do you think that they want to give up their playing time in highschool? Absolutely not. This is where teens go into their parents medicine closet and start trying to find the one that fights the pain. If that survey was just done in 2014, I bet you more kids now would come out to say the same thing.

If you dont mind your kids becoming addicted to hard drugs then just keep on taking those painkillers and leaving them in places where your kids have access to them, if you dont mind your kids giving up on all of their hopes and dreams then just stop monitoring their intake of medications. But if you do care for your kids you need to take a step forward in the direction of getting our addicts the help they need and make it easier for them to get access to rehabilitation facilities, because one day your kid could be a part of the statistics.

“GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure

 to Report Safety Data.” The United States Department of Justice, Office of Public

 Affairs , 22 May 2015, 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioid Overdose Crisis.” National Institute on Drug Abuse,

 10 June 2020, 

SMHSA. “Rise in Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Impacting Teens.” SAMHSA, 17 Dec

. 2020, 

The author's comments:

This is my version of an OP-ED I believe very strongly in this topic and believe that we should still be thinking about this epidemic. 

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