Society Encourages Pill Consumption, Addiction, Experts Say

By Staff Writer

Prescription drug addiction is rampant in many areas of the U.S. In some places, it has replaced marijuana addiction as the most common illegal drug dependency. One expert believes that cultural norms are at the heart of this disturbing trend.

A New Jersey-based addiction rehab worker recently wrote in the Times of Trenton that society encourages individuals of all ages to take pills, even for relatively minor symptoms, such as a headache or stuffy nose. However, this contributes to the belief that taking pills on a regular basis is acceptable and safe.

When this belief in the safety of medications is combined with the fact that many patients are not warned by their doctors that prescription painkillers can cause addiction, you get a recipe for runaway dependency on, the expert wrote.

Prescription drug addiction has grown into a national problem that touches all segments of society. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 20 percent of the population has used medications recreationally at least once in their lives. The agency also states that the growing availability of pills plays a large role in growing addiction rates.