What was once deemed as the future in safe effective pain care management has now

Opiate Painkiller Epidemic in Healthcare
What was once deemed as the future in safe effective pain care management has now
become a raging addiction and abuse epidemic that has left the healthcare industry wondering
what led to this crisis with prescription pain medication addiction and overdoses. Currently in
the United States new regulations and laws are being put into effect that limit the amount of
opiate prescription pills that can be written by a healthcare provider in an attempt to dramatically
cut back on the amount of new patient addiction cases that arise each year. The new face of the
war on drugs looks dramatically different than it did several decades ago during the Reagan
years when the war was only on illegal street drugs. Prescription pain pill addiction has become
a serious public health issue and is one that must be effectively dealt with or it will only continue
to escalate. The big question is how did America’s health care system allow itself to be led
astray and how did the opiate painkiller epidemic become so large? The increase in opioid
addictions in the US has been caused by many things.
One issue that has helped contribute to this epidemic is pharmaceutical manufacturer’s
aggressive marketing of prescription painkillers, especially medications such as OxyContin,
oxycodone, and fentanyl. Pharmaceutical companies pushed these new wonder drugs on the
medical industry providing very little information on safety, long-term use statistics, and
addiction concerns. The healthcare industry ,in an attempt to more effectively and efficiently
treat patients with chronic pain concerns and being under pressure from pharmaceutical
companies, political powers, and the patients themselves, began to prescribe prescription pain
pills at a much more rapid rate.
Commented [1]: Notice that the writer does not rely on
sources at this point. He or she focuses on what has
caused the increase in the opioid addiction crisis based
on what he or she already knows, and by using logical
reasoning skills to explore what factors may have
contributed to the crisis.
Commented [2]: The paper’s focus on the increase in
opioid addictions is an appropriate topic. A stronger
thesis that specifically answers the question of what
caused this increase would be a way to improve the
Remember that a thesis ANSWERS the research
question you want to address. For Unit 6 this is a
preliminary thesis, one that can be adjusted as you
revise and strengthen your ideas.
Commented [3]: Notice how the body paragraph
focuses on a cause of the increase. Strong topic
sentences help to keep your paragraphs focused.
Patients in America have become so accustomed to taking a pill for everything and they
believe that medications can solve all their problems. This kind of thinking has led to the over
prescribing and abuse of opiate pain medications. In a short amount of time a patient can
become dependent on prescription pain medications and be well on his/her way to a long-term
addiction problem. Physicians and the healthcare industry now face how to curb opiate abuse
and more effective manners of weaning patients off of these medications and providing
alternative solutions for their pain treatment.
Patient addiction to opiate pain pills is at crisis level in the United States and continues to
grow larger in numbers every day. Patients desperate to feed their addiction are attempting to
jump from provider to provider in order to obtain pain medication from multiple sources at the
same time. Patients who are being weaned off of pain medications are then switching to illegal
street drugs such as heroin; also, some patients who become addicted to harsher unsafe street
drugs are likely to sell their prescription medications on the street for drug money which in turn
puts more prescription pain pills in the hands of future addicts. New medications such as
Suboxone are aimed at helping to treat opiate addictions in patients but are only marginally
effective and many times the patients continue to use while on the medication or start taking
illegal drugs once the Suboxone has been discontinued, and many times the patients sell their
Suboxone on the streets for drug money.
The opiate pain pill epidemic in the United States continues to grow daily and is one that
must be aggressively handled before it is unstoppable. Every day in the United States the
number of overdoses from opiate prescription pain pills is skyrocketing and shows no signs of
slowing down. The big question now is not how the health care industry got into this situation,
but how they are going to dig themselves out from under this massive epidemic.
Commented [4]: The draft would be stronger if it used
clear transitions to connect ideas and if this paragraph
more clearly focused on one specific cause of the
increase in opioid addictions.
Commented [5]: The topic sentence and focus of this
paragraph could be stronger, since it is addressing
some issues other than cause of the increase in
RESEARCH PLAN: As I begin my research for my Unit 8 paper, the first stop I will
make is the PG Library due to the vast amount of information that the library has available,
especially the peer review peer reviewed journal articles that are available. The issue of the
increase in prescription pain pill addiction is a very topical and current situation and information
is available through many avenues, such as medical trade publications and journals, medical
websites, various online newspapers and magazines. My first step will be start the PG Library
and Google by placing a very basic search command such as prescription pain medication
addiction and then narrowing down the search in order for my information to be more concise. I
will use the chart below to help me identify specific topics I need to research.
Body paragraph 1 main idea
(cause or effect of the change)
Pharmaceutical marketing of pain
Research information/evidence I will need to locate in
Unit 7 to validate this main point and supporting ideas:
1, Journal articles examining marketing and the impact
on addiction
2. Example of pharmaceutical advertising
3. Reports of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies
for unethical marketing
Body paragraph 2: Main idea
(cause or effect of the change)
Americans over rely on
Research information/evidence I will need to locate in
Unit 7 to validate this main point and supporting ideas:
1. News reports on over prescribing medication
2. Reports on the cases of “doctor shopping”
3. Statistics on the increase of prescription pain pills
Body paragraph 3: Main idea
(cause or effect of the change)
Patient addiction to pain pills has
Research information/evidence I will need to locate in
Unit 7 to validate this main point and supporting ideas.
1. Medical studies verifying this
2. Specific statistics on opioid addiction
3. Journal articles on the severity

The essay will be on poor housing market for buyers. For this rough draft we are not suppose to research or reference. I left an example in the attached file.

Using the Unit 6 Discussion Board feedback you received from your classmates and instructor on your thesis and outline, as well as the following downloadable Essay Draft Chart, create a 4-paragraph rough draft of your Academic Essay. Your draft should not use any sources at this point and instead should answer questions like: Why do you think this change has happened? or What effects do you think this change has had? Use your own thoughts and ideas to explore these questions but also try to not rely on informal first person (I, me, my, we, us, our) or second person (you, your) and instead attempt to write objectively and formally by using third person.

Think of this draft as an opportunity to try out the hypothesis you established in your preliminary thesis, to explore and examine the point you want your paper to make about the change you have selected to write about, and to learn what you do and do not know and what you need to learn about your topic in order to more successfully write about it.

Essay Draft Chart

Your 1 and ½ page double spaced draft should do the following:

Paragraph 1
  • identify the change and its relevance
  • Establish your thesis about the cause or effect of the change

(don’t worry, though, if you are having trouble writing an attention-grabbing introduction at this point–focus on your thesis)

Paragraph 2
  • establish Topic Sentence about first cause or effect
  • use paragraph development strategies like PIE to support the topic sentence and explain why you think this cause or effect is relevant
Paragraph 3
  • Establish Topic Sentence about second cause or effect
  • use paragraph development strategies PIE to support the topic sentence and explain why you think this cause or effect is relevant
Paragraph 4
  • Establish Topic Sentence about third cause or effect
  • use paragraph development strategies like PIE to support the topic sentence and explain why you think this cause or effect is relevant


NOTE: In order to better prepare for the research process you will begin in Unit 7, brainstorm a list of specific research information you will need to locate during your research process in Unit 7 to support the ideas you drafted in Unit 6. Complete the following downloadable Research Plan Chart and include it at the end of your Unit 6 Assignment. This

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