The U.S. government has recognized that drug addiction has changed drastically over the past few years. Now individuals who suffer from addiction are more apt to get their fix from going to their medicine cabinet as opposed to hitting the streets for illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin. In 2009, during the duration of one month more than 5 million Americans reported that they abused prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax or Valium. The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy states, “We believe there are two unique reasons for the growth in prescription drug abuse – easy accessibility to the drugs and the diminished perception of risk.”
In response to the drastic increase of prescription drug abuse the U.S government is implementing various programs. One course of action the White House plans on taking to attack the growing problem is through education and making the public aware of the dangers that come with prescription medication. In addition officials are going to be enforcing a new law that was passed by Congress last year that will permit pharmacies to accept unused prescription drugs to get rid of them so they do not fall into the wrong hands. The DEA is also hoping that prescription drugs will soon be able to be electronically tracked to stop individuals from doctor shopping (going around to various doctors to get prescriptions in order to support drug addiction).
There are no words to explain the seriousness of the problem currently going on with addiction to prescription medication as 50 people in the United States die from a prescription drug overdose on a daily basis. Unfortunately everything the government does will never put an end to addiction. There will always be a need for some to participate in addiction treatment in order to get their life back in order and become free from chemical dependency.