Iowa is one of the most attractive states in the United States. However, there are people in this state that do not get to enjoy all that it has to offer. This is primarily because some of them are addicted to the prescription medications that they have been abusing.
The state government has been liaising with various public and private organizations and other governments to try and curb the growing prescription drug crisis affecting so many of its residents.
For instance, it has been promoting the monitoring of these prescription drugs. further, the state has been recommending people dispose of unneeded, unused, and expired prescriptions from their homes in more convenient, secure, and environmentally responsible ways.
Although there are many interesting things to do and see in Iowa, some people here do not really make time to do so. For some, it is because they are addicted to prescription medications.
Today, the abuse of prescription drugs - including stimulants, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and prescription opioids - is a growing problem all across the state as well as elsewhere across the United States.
Although most of the people who have valid prescriptions for these medications take them exactly as their doctors recommended, there are others who do not. In 2017, for instance, national figures reported that more than 18 million Americans had abused prescription drugs.
Other figures report that there are some prescription drugs that are more commonly abused in states like Iowa than others. For instance, tranquilizers seem to be the most commonly abused drugs, followed closely by stimulants and lastly by sedatives.
The reasons given for the prevalence of prescription medication abuse are different, and they tend to vary according to a wide variety of factors. These include gender, age, and socioeconomic background. However, they also include the ease of access to these drugs.
Since the early years of the 1990s, however, it has been reported that Iowa has seen an increase in the rates of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, widespread misinformation about just how addictive and dangerous prescription medications are have led to this increase. This is primarily because there are many people who still believe that prescription drugs are not quite as harmful as illicit substances like cocaine and methamphetamine because they are issued by doctors and pharmacists.
Although prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem all across Iowa - and one that affects many people in the state - research studies show that there are certain populations that have higher risk of abusing these substances. These include older adults and young people.
In 2014, for instance, more than 14 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 reported that they had taken a prescription drug without a valid prescription or for a non-medical reason. During the same people, close to 5 percent of young people aged between 12 and 17 years reported similar trends.
After tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol, Iowa also reports that prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse among students in the 12th grade in the state - a problem that does not seem to be waning.
The Monitoring the Future survey released by NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - also showed that more than 6 percent of seniors in high schools across the state had abused prescription stimulants such as Adderall in 2017. Of this population, 2 percent also reported that they had abused opioid pain relief medications like Vicodin.
Although the abuse of CNS depressant medications seems to have remained stable during all years since 2013, the state reported a sharp decline in the abuse of prescription opioids. in 2002, for instance, it was reported that about 9 percent of 12th graders in Iowa abused Vicodin. This number decreased to 2 percent by 2017. The abuse of Adderall by the same population, however, increased as from 2009 to 2013. However, it decreased between 2013 and 2017.
The researchers who conducted this study asked the 12th graders where they obtained the prescription stimulant drugs that they were abusing. More than 60 percent of the respondents reported that they either received or bought the substances from their relatives or friends.
Older citizens of Iowa also report high rates of prescription drug abuse. This is not entirely surprising considering that over 80 percent of residents between the ages of 57 and 85 years have prescription drugs that they take daily. Over 50 percent of this population also have over 5 supplements or drugs that they need to take every day.
These high prescribing rates have been leading to increasing issues leading to prescription drug abuse. Although some people unintentionally abuse their medications, other do so intentionally by taking them for a non-medical reason or in any way other than their doctor advised.
However, it is important to keep in mind that prescription drug is particularly dangerous and risky among older populations. This is because of the rates of comorbid or multiple chronic illnesses, potential for interactions between drugs, and changes to the metabolism of drugs related to age that affect these populations.
Irrespective of your age, it is important to keep in mind that prescription drug abuse is a dangerous activity that could lead to many negative consequences down the road - including poor health, co-occurring medical and mental health disorders, and even coma and death.
To protect yourself from all these negative outcomes, it is recommended that you seek help from an inpatient or an outpatient addiction treatment and rehabilitation center. There are many such centers scattered all across Iowa and they can help you overcome your growing substance use disorder before it is too late.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
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