- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Why There Should Be Stricter Regulations on the Availability of Prescription Narcotics

Essay by   •  November 15, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,278 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,435 Views

Essay Preview: Why There Should Be Stricter Regulations on the Availability of Prescription Narcotics

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

The Need for Restrictions

"Why there should be stricter regulations on the availability of prescription narcotics"

Despite efforts to decrease the number of deaths and overdoses related to narcotic medications, such as OxyContin, and minimize the number of people illegally obtaining them, the measures that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in specific are taking are not enough. The literal definition of a narcotic is a drug that produces numbness or stupor; often taken for pleasure or to reduce pain; extensive use can lead to addiction. Narcotics are normally prescription medications that are given to patients to help ease the constant pain cause by cancer or other long term illnesses.

"When one in 10 high school senior's reports abusing prescription painkillers, the DEA is obligated to protect our children and the public safety" says Karen P. Tandy administrator of the DEA(1). Tandy is saying that when the abuse of prescription pain medication is taking over that many students the DEA must step in for the sake of future generations. There is a long process that not many average Americans know about that all pharmaceutical products, especially addictive medications have to go through before they reach home medicine cabinets. This process is called "Diversion". It is an important chain like process that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) have been using for years to look at where highly addictive drugs, like OxyContin, go and who they come into contact with. From the pharmaceutical company that literally make the product, to the drug wholesalers that sell the product, and then into the hands of doctors and pharmacies who prescribe and distribute the medications. The purpose of diversion is to take the information and look for certain situations where drugs were lost, stolen, or illegally distributed and give proper punishment to those people. The problem of abusing prescription narcotics became noticeably out of control in the 1990's. The problem lies in the fact that it is 2005 and the numbers of overdoses and deaths have been and are still rising at astonishing rates.

An argument however, that many people have about advancing restrictions on OxyContin and other schedule 2 narcotics is that the needed process that one might have to go through in order to properly obtain the drug would be an 'invasion of privacy." Some believe that reporting the serious reasoning behind needing to take the drug to someone other then their doctor is a violation of their rights. This is a valid point made by many but as Dr. John H. Burton puts it in his written testimony on The Escalating Abuse of Prescription Medications, "Cooperation must be facilitated and encouraged between methadone treatment facilities, public health agencies, and law enforcement and medical providers. In order to do achieve this, attention must be directed to sharing critical information while protecting the public's interest in safety and simultaneously patient and victim interests in privacy."(4) What people need to understand is that these drugs are so powerful that people taking them must be qualified and may need to be monitored. In the interest of every human's well-being anyone taking these drugs for authorized clinical reasons should be willing to make the sacrifice.

The DEA has been trying for so long to prevent robberies, thefts and doctors from prescribing medications illegally, but the actions they have been taking are not enough. Despite their efforts there are still way to many illegally techniques used to obtain OxyContin and they are succeeding, drastically. Abusers have been getting their hands on these drugs via pharmacists, physicians, doctor shopping, thefts and robberies, the internet, organizations, and foreign distribution. Physicians and pharmacists will use their ability to prescribe the medications to either use it themselves or distribute illegally to someone else. Doctor shopping has become increasingly popular among users because it does not involve much work. The network formed between abusers has become incredible. Abusers will go around from doctor to doctor looking for someone to prescribe them what they are looking for and they will not stop until they find one who will. Then report back to this "network" on who would and would not prescribe the medications. Foreign distribution has also become a huge problem. Because foreign companies operate outside United States laws there are not many ways that the DEA or the Government in general can do to prevent it. The disturbing part is how much the number of dosage units sent to foreign countries has increased. In 1998 an approximate 5,000 grams were sent from Purdue Pharma L.P. Laboratories in Totowa, New Jersey to Mexico



Download as:   txt (7.7 Kb)   pdf (100.3 Kb)   docx (11.8 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on