Expert warns painkiller addiction reaches epidemic level

By: Dan Messineo

A shocking statement from a Nebraska health expert; pain medication addiction has reached epidemic status.

Aly Hassan M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center said addiction to pain medication is commonplace.  In a statement, Hassan said “This is beyond the level of an individual practitioner.  This is really a state problem or even a national problem.”

Hassan said the makeup of many of these drugs is perfect for addiction.  They absorb fast and the half-life of the medication staying your system goes fast, which means users quickly want more of the drug.

An article on WebMD, reviewed by the Cleveland Clinic Pain Management Department, lists a few signs of addiction to pain: more frequent use of the medication during the day, taking the medication for more than just pain and taking medication that was prescribed for another person. 

If you or someone you know needs help fighting prescription drug abuse, please call the drug abuse hotline at (402) 475-5683.