Prescription drug addiction touches all age groups, races, and socioeconomic levels of society; it is an unfortunate tie that binds millions of Americans. Most people become addicted to prescription drugs as a result of having them initially prescribed legally by a doctor for a chronic or acute pain-related reason. Most people assume that when a doctor prescribes them a drug, it is safe, and do not imagine they might become addicted to it.
Seniors are particularly affected by prescription drug use; with ages comes the breakdown of many different body parts, and doctors are more than willing to prescribe the pain away. Unfortunately, people taking pain medication for chronic problems quickly build up a tolerance, and will either ask for a stronger prescription or begin taking more than the prescribed amount. In no time, a person can become drug dependent, after a lifetime of avoiding illegal and addictive substances.
The toll on the senior community is high; according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), between 2007 and 2011, there was a 46% increase in prescription narcotic addiction cases for those aged 55 and older. Further, SAMHSA indicates the combination of alcohol and misuse of medication is estimated to affect up to 19% of older Americans. 25% of seniors who use prescription psychoactive drugs have the potential to misuse them, and seniors are more likely to take such medications for much longer periods of time than younger adults.
California Agency CURES Helps Prevent and Treat Addiction to Prescription Drugs
California is one of the states leading the nation in addressing the prescription drug problem. As early as 1939 California implemented the Triplicate Prescription Program, which was created to capture and collect information on Schedule II prescription drugs, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. In 1999 the original program was replaced with the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). The CURES database is intended to be used by the healthcare community, law enforcement, and regulatory boards for prevention, education, and investigation of prescription drug abuse. The CURES program has the mission of promoting increased awareness about addiction to prescription drugs without interfering with legitimately issued prescriptions. The searchable, client-focused portion of CURES is the California Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which keeps a record of who was prescribed Schedule II to IV prescription drugs, so that pharmacists and doctors can use their skills and the information in the database to identify and help those who are addicted to controlled substances.
Are You or a Loved One Facing Legal Trouble Due to Prescription Drug Addiction?
If you or a loved one has been arrested as a result of an addiction to prescription drugs, or you are facing criminal charges and want to discuss your options, call Alex Ozols, owner of the Ozols Law Firm today for a free consultation. Ozols Law Firm has a proven track record of successfully defending all manner of criminal cases on behalf of San Diegans, and fighting for the rights of our clients. Call or email today for a no obligation consultation.