This article offers a look at some of the challenges of fighting against prescription drug abuse. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that so much of the use of prescription drugs is legitimate and no one wants to harm those who truly need prescription drugs for pain management.
Recent reports indicate that approximately 100 million Americans, almost a third of the population, have suffered from chronic pain because of injuries or illnesses. And 5 million to 8 million of those people have used prescription opioids for long-term pain management.
The challenge for legislators, law enforcement and the health care community is to reduce prescription drug abuse without reducing legitimate access to these drugs for patients using them as prescribed to relieve chronic pain.