Illicit Prescription Drug Use Exploding

Illicit prescription drug use is exploding across the country, but why is this? What is fueling this epidemic and why prescription drugs?

According to there are a number of reasons why this epidemic is happening across the country. Some deal with the availability of the drugs while others with the lack of responsibility by both doctors and users when prescribing and taking the substances. The result is an explosion that is leaving many dead bodies in its tracks and millions wondering how someone became addicted to prescriptions in the first place.

The Causes Of Prescription Use Broken Down

To clear up exactly what prescription drugs are, lets break drugs down into categories:

•    Stimulants – Cocaine, Adderall, Meth, Ritalin
•    Depressants – Xanax, Marijuana, Valium, Alcohol
•    Opioid – Oxycontin, Heroin, Vicodin, Opium

The above is a list of the categories that most drugs will fall under, and as one can see, illegal street drugs and prescription drugs are interchangeable, with many strong prescription drugs eventually being abused and used for the same purpose as some of the more notorious street drugs.

As a matter of fact, Ritalin is now almost exclusively a street drug, with its own street name “kiddie cocaine”. But think back about 10 years ago, that used to be the prescription drug that was given to our kids for diseases such as ADD and ADHD, and now it is being used as a street drug.

So it is no wonder that there is currently an explosion in prescription drug use, there are so many options out there that one can obtain easily with the same effects that one can get from the harder-to-obtain illegal street drugs.

Statistics On Illicit Prescription Drug Abuse

An estimated 7 million Americans abuse prescription and pharmaceutical drugs. Prescription drugs account for about 75 percent of all drug-related U.S. overdose deaths, 15,000 in 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three of every four deaths from pills involve opioid pain relievers including oxycodone.

The amount of deaths from prescription drug use is now greater than both heroin and cocaine – combined. Not particularly surprising in light of the above information but sad all the same; drugs like heroin and cocaine, that we generally consider extremely dangerous and not something to mess around with are combined not causing as many deaths as prescription abuse.

Now What

The good news is that there are effective preventive measures that can be taken to slow down the abuse. One of the largest reasons that prescription drugs are now one of the most abused drugs is the ease of access factor. Most first time abusers obtain the drugs from family or friends, or have some left over from some medical condition that they once used them for. Therefore preventive measures can and should be taken by doctors, family and friends.

Doctors should watch out for symptoms of dependence after prescribing them for a legitimate ailment, adults should keep the medicine cabinets locked so their teens aren’t stealing these drugs from them and using them illicitly. For the most part, people who abuse prescription drugs don’t get them initially from a drug dealer; parents and doctors can do their part to slow down the epidemic.

If you have a friend or family member who is already abusing prescription drugs, get them help through for education and information and then they should enroll in long term treatment.

Information from indicates that those in a long term, drug free program like Narconon have a 76% success rate for permanent sobriety from illicit prescription drug use.


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