The scientific community has always been very specific about how they label certain terms, mostly for legal purposes. One of the new shifts in nomenclature when it comes to medicine is the term “Accidental Overdose.” The term “Misadventure” is starting to take root, partly because it wasn’t an accident that whoever died decided to take that certain drug in the first place.
A new study, however, has shown that “misadventures” with prescription pain pills are among the highest death rate when it comes to drug overdose. Whether the drugs were taken with alcohol or too many were taken too fast is besides the point. The real issue at hand comes down to two possibilities: doctors are prescribing narcotics to too many patients, which fosters addiction, or doctors are not instructing their patients on how to properly use their medication and the dangers of a possible overdose.
The second possibility seems more likely to me. Doctors are already pretty careful with prescription pain pills thanks to safety protocols hospitals already install in their offices and clinics.
Many prescription pain pills are known as Opioids. The opioid poppy is one of the oldest medicines in history and has often been used to treat pain. They bind to receptors in the peripheral and central nervous systems. They block pain signals from reaching the brain and also cause a sense of euphoria. Over time, the body gains a tolerance to the drug meaning a higher dosage is needed to maintain its effect. The high dosage fosters addiction and the body develops a dependence on the drug.
If you or a family member is prescribed an opioid medication, make sure you ask your doctor about all the side effects and directions on how to take each dose.