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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Prescription Drug Abuse Bigger Problem Than Illegal Drugs

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When 23-year-old Jaclyn Kinkade overdosed on drugs in 2010 it wasn't heroine or another illegal substance that claimed her life–instead, Jaclyn was one of many victims of America's number one drug problem, prescription drugs. Jaclyn, who was a doctor's office assistant and part-time model, got her drugs, which include oxycodone and methadone, legally from Walgreen's and CVS.

The U.S. spends about $15 billion per year fighting illegal drugs, many of which are made overseas, from getting onto American soil. However, the biggest drug problem stems from our own backyard and contributes to 15,000 deaths per year in this country from prescription drug abuse. The fact that prescription drugs are legal makes the problem even harder to combat since authorities have no drug lord to go after. Instead, they are fighting a powerful pharmaceutical industry with lobbyists and financial backers that have no interest in decreasing the sales of medications. Even some doctors argue against tighter regulation of prescription medications, particularly painkillers, alleging that it would negatively affect patients that need access to these drugs.

Jaclyn's parents don't claim that their daughter was angel, or free from responsibility from her decision to use prescription drugs. However, they also point out that the companies like CVS and Walgreen's, as well as licensed professionals have some responsibility in her death. In fact, prescription drug abuse is the number one cause of accidental death and the best way to stop this trend is to reduce access–despite what some doctors or pharmaceutical lobbyists may say.