The U.S. Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act prohibits delivery in America of controlled substances not prescribed by a physician. Yet, rogue pharmacy websites outside of the U. S. send out millions of email solicitations and some do not adhere to U.S. prescriptive regulations. Warnings have been issued to more than 100 online pharmacies for violations, but the law of supply and demand often trumps attempts by the Federal Drug Association to squelch the access to drugs.
Access to online pharmacies has caused a rapid increase in drug abuse, addiction and the self-destructive aspects to the abuser, their loved ones and the community. We’re talking about highly addictive, powerful opioid pain killers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin), sedatives and tranquilizers, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) and stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) that are used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders. These are but a small list of the mood/mind altering prescription grade medications available online.
In 2011, the Internet celebrated its 20th birthday. Globally, an estimated 2.67 billion people are users with a gargantuan growth of 528% from 2000 to 2011. Internet users continue to grow at an accelerated rate.
International and Communications Technology has many benefits but it also has horrific and destructive aspects such as cyber criminals, cyber bullies, cyber stalkers and online sexual predators to name a few. A new growing epidemic is the escalation of prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drugs are fast replacing illegal substances on college campuses. States with the greatest expansion in high-speed internet access had the largest increase of admissions for treatment of drug abuse (Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Southern California). Interestingly, as online prescription drug sales increase, admission for abuse of alcohol, cocaine and heroin had minimal or negative growth rates.
Senior Citizens are among those most vulnerable to prescription drug abuse or misuse because they are prescribed more medications than younger patients. Most people take prescription medications responsibly: however, an estimated 48 million people (ages 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetimes. Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.
The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 20% of people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Steroid abuse is also on the rise. Men report higher rates of steroid use than women do. Prescription drug abuse is generally the same between men and women, except among 12 to 17 year olds. In this age group, research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that females are more likely to use psychotherapeutic drugs for non-medical purposes. Research has also shown that women in general are more likely to use narcotic pain relievers and tranquilizers for non-medical purposes.
The number of teens and young adults (ages 12 to 25) who were new abusers of prescription painkillers grew from 400,000 in the 1980s to 2 million in 2000, according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. New users of tranquilizers, which are normally used to treat anxiety and tension, increased 50% between 1999 and 2000 in a study of students in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Once someone begins ingesting a number of pills for medical issues like managing blood pressure and cholesterol, it becomes easier to take narcotic painkillers, prescription sleep aids and other, more addictive drugs. It also increases the risk of negative and possibly fatal interactions between drugs, especially when they are not used as prescribed. The exact relationship between a dramatic increase in the proper use and an increase in abuse of prescription medications is unknown. A stated above, prescription drugs account for the second most abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.
Having treated alcohol and drug abuse, these writers suspect that the use and abuse of these medications by Americans are far greater than estimated. As the Internet continues to grow in number of users and accessibility to global markets, we suspect that prescription drug abuse and addiction will continue to rise. International online pharmacies knowingly marketing and selling prescription medications to Americans privy to our FDA regulations are engaged in cybercrime and illegal drug trade. Given the many dangers of ordering medications from online pharmacies, it is highly recommended to work with your family doctor on all prescription medicines.