A recent article highlighted the lack of consensus in the federal government regarding solutions to curb prescription opioid abuse. The White House Describes the problem as an epidemic and a growing national crisis, while the Center for Disease controls has implored physicians across the country to be more conscientious about the prescriptions they write and limit the number of pills they administer. Other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration admit that these pills are hastily prescribed, but should remain available to those who suffer from legitimate chronic pain, which they have cited as approximately 100 million people across the country.
From 1999 to 2010, the number of painkiller prescriptions filled has increased 400 percent. The CDC claims that the availability of these prescriptions should be scaled back to those suffering from evident and serious conditions like cancer, claiming that the risks can far outweigh the benefits for the average chronic pain sufferer.