Published December 13, 2012
Q: What do pain killers, tranquilizers, and stimulant medications all have in common?
A: Although prescribed legally by physicians, these three very different types of drugs are the most commonly abused classes of prescription drugs. Their abuse and the consequences of their abuse – treatment admissions, ER visits, and overdose deaths – have increased to an epidemic.
SOURCE: CDC Vital Signs: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US (Nov 2011)
The commonly abused prescription drugs fall into three classes:
To address the growing problem of prescription medication abuse and misuse, lawmakers have drafted and signed into law two pieces of recent legislation – one in New York State and the second, sponsored by U.S. Senator Schumer of New York, at the federal level.
In September 2012, the new I-STOP legislation was signed into law by New York State Governor Cuomo in an effort to curb the epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
The I-STOP Law:
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that “I-STOP will be a national model for smart, coordinated communication between health care providers and law enforcement to better serve patients, stop prescription drug trafficking, and provide treatment to those who need help.”
In October 2012, President Obama signed into law U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) plan to combat prescription drug theft – the SAFE DOSES Act.
The SAFE DOSES Act targets drug theft at every point of the supply chain, increasing sentences for robbing pharmacies, creating a new category of crime dealing with theft of medical products and increasing sentences for individuals in the medical field who are convicted of prescription drug theft.
Download PDF version here.
They are….but only when prescribed by a physician and taken as prescribed by the person for whom the medication was prescribed. But when prescription drugs are abused (see above), they are dangerous, addictive, and withdrawal can be deadly.