For the past 20 years, the treatment of pain has increased. Doctors were less concerned with addiction than relieving the pain, particularly that caused by cancer. Today, we have a different problem. The abuse of prescribed pain killers is causing a conundrum for doctors – treat the pain or worry about addiction.
The most alarming abuse of prescription drugs involves those classified under the Controller Substance Act as Schedule II or III drugs. This includes popular drugs like Vicodin, which has a higher potential for abuse. However, to ban these drugs would undermine their legitimate purpose and increase the suffering of many patients. The challenge is to reduce the abuse of these drugs without infringing upon those who need them for legitimate pain management.
We are seeing more and more young people abusing prescription drugs. They attend “rave” parties where pills (usually taken from their parents or grandparents medicine cabinets) are put into a bowl and these youngsters take handfuls of pills to get high. This practice has resulted in the death of some teens – right in our own community. Parents and grandparents should be careful to keep all prescription drugs locked in a safe place where children cannot get to them.
Law enforcement and other community agencies have joined together to sponsor “drug roundups” where citizens can go to a collection point to get rid of their unwanted or unused drugs. These drugs should never be flushed down the toilet – they get into the water system – nor put out in the trash where they can be scavenged. Law enforcement disposes of these drugs by burning and the drug collection practice is becoming a recognized method for Nevadans to dispose of their prescription drugs.