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Burden Of Substance Diversion On Healthcare And Society

2507 words - 11 pages

The Burden of Substance Diversion on Healthcare and Society

The Burden of Substance Diversion on Healthcare and Society
The intentional misuse, abuse, and diversion of illicit and prescription drugs are a growing problem in the United States. Substance abuse, illicit or prescription, presents economical tribulations for families, labor force, society, and healthcare. Substance abuse has invaded all socioeconomic barriers, schools, and work areas. The consequences of substance abuse are substantial with regard to public health and healthcare itself.
The economic burden substance abuse has on healthcare attacks from multiple routes: the strain on the emergency room by drug-seeking ...view middle of the document...

7 million to 5.2 million. In 2001, an estimated $8.6 billion total cost associated with opioid abuse when taking into account legal, work area, and healthcare expenses. Although this information was compiled from documents in 2001, when the cost of healthcare was greatly reduced compared to current, it is easy to realize the economic burden presented on the healthcare system when you consider medical services sought by the abuser/misusers. Presentation to a medical facility for nonopioid poisoning was 78 times more likely, 36 times more likely to have hepatitis A, B, or C, pancreatitis at a rate of 21 times greater, and 8.5 times more likely to present with psychiatric manifestations when comparing non-abusers and abusers (Strassels, 2009; 15(7)).
In 2006, a study performed on over 20,000 university undergraduate students in the United States, McCabe, et al, discovered a greater number of individuals older than 12 had misused opioids than the number who had used illicit drugs (marijuana and cocaine) combined. When questioned as to the reasoning for misuse of prescription medications, resulted were the greatest as being to relieve tension, relax, or sleep (McCabe SE, 2009; 102(1-3)). Many studies have concluded adolescent prescription stimulant abusers acquire the medication from someone other than whom it had been prescribed, as in the study by Setlik, et al (Setlik J, 2009; 124(3)).
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classify drugs, substances, and specific other chemicals used in the making of drugs into five categories, which are referred to as “schedules”. Schedule I drugs are those most dangerous in terms of a high level of dependency and/or abuse. An example of Schedule I drugs would be inclusive of heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. Schedule II substances are deemed to have a lesser abuse potential, but leading to severe psychological or physical dependence would be cocaine, methadone, Dilaudid, OxyContin, fentanyl, Adderall, and Ritalin. With a moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependence, Schedule III drugs would include Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine (less than 90 milligrams), anabolic steroids, and testosterone. Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and dependency, such as Xanax, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, and Ambien. Those drugs and substances containing limited quantities of narcotics, thereby by definition having a lower potential for abuse, are normally used for antidiarrheal, cough medicine, and pain relievers, such as Lomotil, Rubitussin AC, and Lyrica0 (DEA). By definition, the DEA requires that all Schedules I, II, III, and IV drugs be dispensed by a practitioner, and reported.
In March 2012, the Governor of West Virginia, Earl Ray Tomblin signed Senate Bill 437 into law regarding substance abuse. With the passage of this law, physicians can be assigned fines up to $20,000 when knowingly running a pain management clinic that is unlicensed. The Controlled Substance Monitoring...

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