Doctors May Inadvertently Contribute to Addiction

By Staff Writer

Modern medicine has greatly improved doctors’ ability to treat illnesses. They are now able to manage chronic diseases much more effectively than before. However, their ability to write prescriptions may put some individuals at risk of addiction that requires the help of rehab facilities.

The number of individuals addicted to prescription painkillers has exploded in recent years. According to a study conducted by the National Center On Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teen usage of prescription drugs increased 93 percent from 1993 to 2005. The numbers are similar for adults.

Dr. Gregory Blake, a physician at the UT Medical Center’s Family Medicine Department, told local NBC affiliate WBIR that most prescription drug addictions start with a doctor’s desire to help their patient. However, as that patient’s body becomes more accustomed to the medicine, they begin to seek more, resulting in addiction.

He added that many patients also engage in doctor shopping, whereby they seek out care providers who are more likely to give them the medications they are craving.