People who abuse illegal drugs and/or prescription medications are much more likely to abuse prescription pain relievers; that is what researchers from the University of Georgia have determined after conducting a nationwide study on this egregious issue. However, this abuse is not specific to one age bracket. People of varying ages have different strategies for obtaining these drugs.
The study, which originated in the UGA School of Social Work, revealed that people who use drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine within a year of taking prescription pain relievers are much more likely to abuse them. This similarity spread across all socioeconomic strata and racial lines.
“Male or female, black or white, rich or poor, the singular thing we found was that if they were an illicit drug user, they also had many, many times higher odds of misusing prescription pain relievers,” said Orion Mowbray, who is the study’s lead author…
Mowbray and his colleagues recommend that doctors make it clear to older individuals that there is a lot of risk associated with taking the drugs. Friends and families should also be attentive to any family member who may have developed an addiction or dependency.
Johnna Stahl · Albuquerque, New Mexico
Yet another negative “study” on prescription pain medications (which doesn’t include any new information). A “study” of surveys based on self-reports by respondents. Very scientific. Considering how small the University of Georgia School of Social Work is, one has to wonder where they get their funding. Funny, the “study” doesn’t mention that, or any conflicts of interest by the authors. Doesn’t matter — looks like a government-funded study to me. Thanks NIDA! You really know how to make our tax dollars work.
Studies like this also make you wonder if there are ever any studies done on what medications work best to treat pain. Considering the recent FDA warning on NSAIDS, what medications are left? Sugar pills?
And in case it’s news to these researchers, addiction and dependency are two different things. Is a diabetic dependent or addicted to insulin? Is a heart patient dependent or addicted to beta-blockers?
Something else the authors seem to be unaware of is that marijuana is no longer illegal in four states and has been approved for medical use in 24 states. California passed its medical cannabis law in 1996, and in New Mexico where I live, the program has existed for 8 years. And does the drug “cocaine” include Ritalin? Oh, I forgot, Ritalin is legal and cocaine isn’t.