In 2009 there were 1.2 million emergency room visits dues to prescription drug overdoses â€” a startling number that far exceeds the rates for all other drugs, according to an Associated Press article recently published. Of deaths that arenâ€™t caused by natural conditions, that number is only surpassed by the number of people killed in car crashes.
Tuesday, in a long-needed move that will bring much safer practices to the prescription drug industry, the Obama Administration began pushing for mandatory doctor training for doctors who prescribe opiates. These drugs include the common painkillers â€” OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin are just a few.
This is a huge step in the right direction for the long-running and misguided war on drugs implemented by the Nixon administration. If the highest numbers of drug deaths come not from illicit street drugs but from pills prescribed by American doctors, prescription drugs should be the first target of the drug war.Â
Across the country doctors have set themselves up in the lucrative position of not much more than a glorified drug dealer. These doctors are known to give away prescriptions to drugs that have been classified as Schedule II controlled substances, due to their high potential abuse tendencies, for little more than just patient request.
If the path to a society with less drug problems is regulation, then regulating these drugs is the right choice in the war on drugs, and for that we applaud recent efforts by the current administration.