Addiction to prescription drugs,
especially opiates, is a rapidly growing problem./
Graphic courtesy New York Times

Abuse of prescription drugs is reportedly America’s fastest-growing drug problem. And, illustrated through the eyes of one user, prescription addicts may be at least as resistant to getting help as persons addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is America’s fastest-growing drug problem. Every 19 minutes, someone dies from a prescription drug overdose in the United States, triple the rate in 1990. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkillers (like oxycodone) are largely to blame. More people die from ingesting these drugs than from cocaine and heroin combined. Yet while I shared her concern, there was little I could do to force J. into treatment.

It’s a good story, covering not only the individual, but questions of just what constitutes addiction, different state laws on forcible treatment on conviction for illegal activities, the insurance world in the US and more.