Along with all of America’s drug problems, including the rise of heroin use and the explosion of synthetic drugs, prescription drug abuse continues to be a top public health concern. A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health was released recently stating that the abuse of prescription pain killers has risen in recent years and is now more widely used over illicit drugs. It is now considered America’s biggest drug abuse problem next to marijuana.
The same National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that there were 7 million users of “psychotherapeutics” in 2010. Also, out of the 36,450 overdose deaths in the United States, a shocking 20,044 of those were connected to prescription drugs. This is a figure higher than all other illicit drugs put together. In addition, the number of prescriptions filled for opioid pain relievers, which are some of the most powerful drugs on the market, have recently increased greatly. That’s not the only thing that has increased. The milligram-per-person use of these prescription opioids in the U.S. has gone from 74 milligrams to a shocking 369 milligrams, which is an increase of 402 percent. It’s no wonder that so many people are becoming addicted to these medications.
Why Are Prescription Drugs So Popular
Prescription drugs are simply easier to come by. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that over 70 percent of people that were abusing prescription pain relievers had obtained them from friends or relatives as oppose to the 5 percent who got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet. More than three out of four people who misuse prescription painkillers use drugs prescribed to someone else.
There is also the false conception that prescription drugs are not harmful because they are prescribed by trusted doctors and given out by pharmacists. Prescription painkillers work by fastening to receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain and by doing so create a feeling of euphoria. These types of drugs can cause physical dependence and my lead to addiction in some people.
Someone who is abusing prescription painkillers may take a larger dosage in order to achieve a more euphoric effect and lessen withdrawal symptoms. These higher dosages are dangerous because they can cause breathing to slow down so much that breathing stops, resulting in a fatal overdose.
Prescription Drugs Becoming New Gateway Drug
A survey taken in 2009 reported that one third of people age 12 and older, while using drugs for the first time, used a prescription drug, non-medically. Another recent survey showed that 2.5 million new teen substance abusers began using with prescription drugs.
A study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed that visits to the ER having to do with the misuse of prescription pain relievers more than doubled between 2004 and 2008. It is clear that prescription drugs may be quickly becoming the new gateway drug over marijuana and alcohol.
If you are a parent make sure to teach your kids about the dangers of prescription and also educate them on drug addiction. Many kids will start using these drugs because they think that they are safe or non-addictive.
In addition to education, if you have a loved one with a prescription problem contact us today or Narconon Florida.