MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Consumer Reports is out with a warning about the risks of prescription and over-the-counter pain killers.
An investigation was published about the dangers of these drugs and is calling on the FDA to make these drugs safer.
Jason Kusiak became addicted to pain killers in high school after they were prescribed when he broke his arm and leg.
“The pain kind of went away but I still had the medicine and I just kept taking it and taking it,” said Kusiak, now a former addict.
Forty-six people die each day in the United States from opioid drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, according to Consumer Reports.
“This is a drug that needs to be monitored carefully to make sure that patients aren’t taking more than they should and they should be withdrawn at the earliest time when they are no longer needed,” said Dr. Marvin Lipman, Chief Medical Adviser with Consumer Reports.
The report finds, that when used correctly, opioids relieve short term pain, but to manage some conditions including migraines and nerve pain, other medications may be safer.
Sean Clarkin from Partnership for Drug Free Kids says alternatives are important.
“Let’s not assume that prescription pain relievers are the only answer to every kind of condition that involves pain,” said Sean Clarkin of Partnership for Drug Free Kids.
When it comes to over the counter pain relievers, Consumer Reports is also warning about accidentally overdosing on acetaminophen saying it’s found in hundreds of medications and labels can be confusing.
Kusiak, 30, hopes that more people heed the warnings and don’t get hooked on prescription painkillers like he did.
“It’s not a cure all,” Kusiak. “Taking this drug isn’t going to make you feel completely better.”
Kusiak has been in recovery for four years.
The report also highlights the importance of taking medications exactly as prescribed and discarding unused medications.