NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Studies show that 70% of Americans are on prescription drugs, a number that has risen by 20 percentage points in five years, according to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (1). Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, says that the statistics further evidence America's reliance on prescription drugs as a cure-all for common ailments, a likely influence on the number of prescription drug-related deaths, which top 16,000 annually (2). Novus officials discourage a culture of "pill-popping" and instead encourage government officials to enact stricter prescribing protocols and physicians to take advantage of drug-monitoring programs.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that among the most common prescriptions given to Americans are painkiller opioids (3), a direct reflection of studies which show that Americans consume 80 percent of the world's supply of painkillers (4). Some attribute the increase of prescription drug use among Americans to the "millions of dollars spent on relentless advertising of brand-name prescription drugs that make it seem like the solution to crippling depression or plaque-free arteries is just a pill away" (5).
Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon agrees with the above, stating, "While there is no question that modern medicines can help those who truly need them, there is a darker side to prescription drugs that can lead to addiction and even death. Consumers are being urged to try pills for sleeping, arthritis, high blood pressure and scores of other ailments—many of which could likely be improved or even eliminated naturally simply by making a lifestyle change."
According to Runyon, the widespread availability of prescription drugs is inadvertently influencing the addiction and drug-related overdoses plaguing U.S. society—people are unwittingly becoming addicted to these medications, and many don't realize until too late that the addiction has already taken hold.
Runyon maintains that prescription-monitoring programs, which indicate details such as when and where patients have controlled medications filled, could help prevent patients from getting controlled medications from multiple physicians—but current programs could also benefit from modernization, because while they already exist in most U.S. states, the level of information sharing among states is minimal. That gap is what allows those struggling with addiction to visit neighboring states and retain access to their drug of choice with no repercussions, per Runyon.
While many states are now pushing for databases that allow law enforcement agencies to track drug-related overdoses, deaths, hospital admissions and crimes, Runyon asserts that the key to stemming the rise of prescription drug abuse is not by treating addicted individuals as criminals, but by understanding that they were once contributing members of society who now need help getting their lives back.
"Addressing addiction at the source is the only way to ensure long-lasting sobriety," said Runyon. "When drug abusers are arrested, their urge to use doesn't ebb—in fact, it often grows due to the stresses associated with being confined to a prison cell. But if the U.S. continues to treat addicted individuals as criminals, it will only lead them to refuse detox, hide their addictions and even seek harsher drugs to deal with the pressure of being judged rather than supported."
Because of the addictive nature of prescription drugs, Runyon advises the public to first consider natural remedies which, in many cases, can assuage common symptoms or discomfort. For those still considering prescription drug use, Runyon suggests having an in-depth conversation with a physician who can help determine the best course of action for each individual's health.
Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process in order to ensure that anyone could overcome prescription drug addiction comfortably. The detox center handles the toughest of drug and alcohol cases, many of which are rejected from other facilities as "too high a risk."
Runyon advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those employing integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.
About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit www.novusdetox.com.
1. Markert, Jennifer. "Pills for Everything: The Power of American Pharmacy." Curiousmatic.com. N.p., 11 July 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. curiousmatic.com/pills-for-everything-the-power-of-american-pharmacy/.
2. Kroll, David. "How Can We Prevent 16,000 Deaths In The U.S. This Year?" Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine, 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2013/08/31/how-to-prevent-16000-u-s-deaths-this-year/.
3. "Study Shows 70 Percent of Americans Take Prescription Drugs." CBSNews.com. CBS Interactive, 20 June 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. cbsnews.com/news/study-shows-70-percent-of-americans-take-prescription-drugs/.
4. Zennie, Michael. "Americans Consume EIGHTY Percent of the World's Pain Pills as Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Explodes." N.p., 10 May 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2142481/Americans-consume-80-percent-worlds-pain-pills-prescription-drug-abuse-epidemic-explodes.html.
5. "There's a Pill for That: Drug Prescriptions in the U.S. Hit a Record High." News.yahoo.com. Yahoo!, 14 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. news.yahoo.com/theres-pill-drug-prescriptions-u-hit-record-high-195404492.html.
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SOURCE Novus Medical Detox Center