Prescription Drug Problem in Texas

Getting prescriptions drugs in Texas is as easy as going online on saying two things; one is that you need the drug and two is that you are not lying about your need. In addition, many physicians do not understand how addictive prescription drugs are and often prescribe highly addictive drugs, such as opiates, without much thought.

Due to the fact that it is that easy to get prescription drugs, there is a major prescription drug problem in Texas right now. Fortunately there are people who are trying to end this ease of obtaining prescription drugs illegally.

The abuse of prescription drugs includes pain-killers, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, and narcotic analgesics. Some prescription drugs produce a psychotherapeutic effect including sedatives, stimulants, tranquilizers, and pain relievers.

In 2009, there were about 16 million people over the age of 12 who used some sort of prescription pain reliever, stimulant, or sedative for a non-medical purpose. And in 2010, about 7 million people were categorized as "Users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken non-medically." The order of usage from highest to lowest was pain relievers at 5 million, tranquilizers at 2.2 million, stimulants and 1.1 million, and sedatives at 0.4 million.

Teenagers have the highest rates of experiencing lifetime use of prescription drugs because they think that there is not a huge risk to their health while using these drugs. However, emergency visits that find use of prescription drugs in a non-medical way are usually combined with alcohol, likely because it results in a better high.

A survey done in 2012, but the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Public Policy Research Institute in Texas A&M University, found that about 10.8 percent of secondary school students were using codeine cough syrup non-medically. About 3.6 percent of the students were using, or had used, oxycodone in their life. This had increased from 2010. Valium and Xanax had both decreased since 2008.

In Texas, abuse of alprazolam and carisoprodol is on the rise. When these drugs are mixed with other substances, they can cause death, and unfortunately, they are almost always mixed with other substances such as alcohol.

There have been a number of bills that attempted to change the way prescription drugs are monitored in Texas. Bill 3301 was meant to provide regulation of controlled substances as well as an electronic system to monitor controlled substances, but it failed.

Bill 1643, however, that will be effective on September 1, 2013, will create an interagency prescription monitoring work group and will require the method of payment to be included as part of the drug monitoring program.

Bill 316, has been introduced, and it would require that the board of pharmacy creates a program to educated people on the abuse, delivery, and dispensing of opioid drugs. This may require that a license holder has to satisfy a number of hours in continuing education.

People addicted to prescription drugs can be best weaned off the drug under a doctor's supervision, which is why inpatient rehab is recommended. If a person abruptly stops taking the prescription drug, then they can suffer from issues such as seizures that can result in death and hyperactivity of the nervous system.