Painkiller Warnings Increase As Abuse Grows


By Krystalle Pinilla

It seems nowadays everyone has been prescribed Oxycodone at least once. It also seems that everyone knows someone who has misused, or even abused a painkiller like this.

These common painkillers might not be so common anymore.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it will require a new warning to be placed on common opioid painkillers like oxycodone and morphine.

According to Women’s Health, opioid addiction has reached an epidemic-like proportion amongst women in the last few decades.

But will this warning help?

The “black box” warning that will now be found on the boxes of opioid drugs is the strongest warning the FDA can issue. The warning is intended to inform not only the public about the possible misuse, addiction, and death associated with opioids; but also to discourage prescribers from issuing out these kinds of drugs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every three minutes a woman goes in to the ER because of opioid abuse. About five times as many women died in 2010 from overdosing than in 1999.

It’s important to assess the need for opioid drugs. For example, if you’ve had a surgery and you’re expected to be in pain for a week or so, opioids will help you get through the short-term pain.

However, it seems doctors have been writing painkiller prescriptions for people with long-term pain—something that can easily lead to addiction.

If you have a more serious problem, something that causes long-term pain, it’s important to consider other options like physical therapy, or less serious drugs.

For now, this is only one of the precautions the FDA is planning on implementing while it reassesses its approach to opioid medications.

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