These are just observations. My observations. I'm just one person. One pharmacist. My pharmacist friends agree with my observations, but they're just a handful. This isn't scientific at all.
But this is what I have observed since 2004:
* A huge increase in the number of prescriptions written for narcotics.
* We used to only stock hydrocodone/APAP in 5/325 and oxycodone 5/325. Now we stock multiple strengths of both to keep up with multiple prescriptions.
* We used to only stock oxycodone 30mg. Now we stock all strengths in large numbers to keep up with demand.
* I see an ever-increasing number of prescriptions for Norco for discomfort associated with coughing from respiratory illnesses.
* I also see an ever-increasing number of prescriptions for narcotics for routine dental procedures. (I was given Tylenol when I had my wisdom teeth out years ago).
* An ever-increasing number of prescriptions for Oxycontin (a twelve hour medication) written to take every eight hours.
* Methadone used much more frequently for the treatment of pain.
* Very few attempts to switch patients from short-acting narcotics (like oxycodone) to fentanyl patches or Oxycontin.
So from MY perspective, we're in an opioid crisis. It seems pretty clear to me unless things are vastly different at every other pharmacy in the country. I'm not pointing fingers or suggesting who is to blame.
I'm just observing.