Warning Labels May Limit Risk of Painkiller Addiction

By Staff Writer

Addiction to prescription painkillers is quickly becoming one of the largest drug problems in the U.S. Many individuals become dependent on medications after taking them for legitimate purposes after receiving a prescription from their doctor. To curb this problem, some experts say that giving patients more warning about the possibility of addiction could play a vital role in reducing the rate of addiction.

Some advocacy groups in Australia have called for mandatory warning labels to be placed on prescription medications that carry a risk of addiction, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Similar warning labels have been implemented in countries like the UK and New Zealand.

Experts say that many people believe that the medications they are taking are completely safe because they have been prescribed by doctors. Individuals are often unaware that some prescriptions can cause serious harm. However, putting a warning label on the packaging alerting patients to the risk of addiction could significantly reduce the number of individuals who develop a dependency.

Similar efforts have worked in the past. Experts say that labels warning cigarette users of the danger of addiction have been successful at limiting abuse, according to the Food and Drug Administration.