Medicare’s prescription drug program (known as Part D, under the Medicare comprehensive plan) reveals a rising use, misuse, and overprescription of common painkiller (opiodes) and anti-anxiety medications.
To name a few, research show that there has been a steady increase in the prescription of hydrocodone, oxycodone, (which rose up to 50%) and increased dosage rates from one month supplies to three month supplies.
Some are alarmed at these rates because they indicate careless prescribing methodologies by physicians who do not regulate and monitor the safety risks posed to seniors on such powerful prescription drugs.
Among the most prescribed of the medications are hydrocodone-acetaminophen (commonly known as Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin), as well as oxycodone-acetaminophen (Percocet) and alprazolam ().
Some activists and concerned members in the medical community are alarmed due to the dependency rates of such medications and the risks of loss-of-breathing, confusion, dizzy spells, and cognitive problems.