Prescription opioid analgesics are depressants and killers
There has been what appears to be an epidemic rise in the abuse of opioid analgesics. Drug abusers are using their physicians to get prescriptions for these drugs and they are getting them in large supplies on the black market. Opioid analgesics are dangerous drugs which have been shown in recent research to set off depressive episodes and which are associated with many premature deaths. Every segment of the society has been hit with this problem, including the nations highly vulnerable students.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes that the abuse of prescription drugs is growing at a dramatic rate across the United States. Opioid analgesics have lead the list of drugs responsible for drug overdose deaths. Over-prescribing of these drugs by physicians is a critical problem. However, among persons who died of opioid overdoses, a significant proportion got them off the streets. Reporting on the critical problem of abuse of these drugs among our youth, EmaxHealth reporter Robin Wulffson MD has written that teens are responsible for much prescription drug abuse.
Opioid analgesics are associated with increased risk for depression
The Journal of General Internal Medicine has reviewed research showing prescription opioid analgesics are associated with an increase in the risk of depression. In this study it was found as the length of opioid prescription increased the risk of depression increased significantly. This risk for a depressive effect from these drugs should be more carefully considered by physicians and patients alike.
Although prescribed opioid analgesics are generally effective for the lowering of pain, reports of adverse effects and addiction have been on the rise. Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D. from Saint Louis University who was the primary investigator of the study, uncovered an association between chronic use of pain-relieving medication and a rise in the risk of developing major depression. In this study 50,000 veterans with no history of opioid use or depression, who were prescribed opioid pain killers, were followed. The veterans who were on the opioids for 180 days or longer were seen to have a significant increase in the risk for depression.