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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Prescription drugs harm more than help

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

“In 2014, more than 14,000 died from overdoses involving prescription opioids,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that prevalence of prescription drugs like Percocet, Xanax and others in America is taking people’s lives at an increasing rate.

Why are more and more people falling victim to these trends? Along with deaths quadrupling, sales for opioid drugs has also quadrupled from 1999 to 2014.

Until lately, doctors have little guidelines for prescribing and recommending drugs which can have harmful effects. Most of these drugs can form addictive habits within users which allows doctors to sell more prescriptions.

Patients prescribed these drugs for mental or physical ailments can misuse drugs and fall deeper into addictive habits which harm themselves and creates dependence.

Opioids are not the only drugs which new users fall victim to: Xanax, Valium and many other prescriptions have harmful potential and are increasing in popularity today.

Semi-legal status and high prevalence makes more and more Americans believe in risky narcotics. This reputation attracts people who know little of prescription risk, are curious or feel better with the drug in their life.

National guidelines need to be developed in education and alternatives to current prescriptions should be researched. Misguided labels and stereotypes for drugs are making the problem here a lot worse.

Unfortunately, even here in Chico the population is shifting from a culture of drinking to illicit substances, similarly resulting in medical or fatal risk of misuse by a curious population.

If a little bit of education regarding the subject keeps inexperienced or suffering Americans from beginning a harmful relationship with drugs like these, deaths should immediately decrease.

Hopefully more research and consideration creates better standards for medical recovery and treatment in America.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] or @sdaly3orion on Twitter.

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    nate // May 8, 2016 at 10:58 am

    The title of this article “Prescription drugs harm more than help” is grossly misleading and happens be the beginning of a red-herring logical fallacy. You seem to hook the reader in to “a premise of all drugs are bad.” One should consider phrasing carefully prior to publishing instead of giving in to sensationalistic journalism.

    Also, the author of this piece seems to entirely ignore that the drugs in question, when prescribed correctly and responsibly, help their target patients greatly.