Prescription drug use is a major problem that has actually been called an “epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 52 million people have used a prescription drug for non-medical reasons at some point during their lifetime. The problem is widespread and covers a broad demographic, from teens to the elderly.
Prescription Drugs that are Abused
Many different types of prescription drugs are used for non-medical purposes:
• Anti-Anxiety Medications
• Medical Marijuana
NIDA reports that around 14 percent of individuals that have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in the past 12 months also met the criteria for abuse or dependence. Another alarming statistic is growing use of prescription medications among adolescents. NIDA found that 1 in 20 adolescents admitted to non-medical use of Vicodin in 2012 and 20 percent of the 52 million that admitted to taking prescription drugs for non-medical uses were ages 12 and up.
Hope on the Horizon?
With concerns about prescription drug abuse on the rise, there is a glimmer of hope coming out of Washington. According to a recent report at The Hill, legislative initiatives are beginning to curb prescription drug use in some traditionally problem areas like Florida. Thanks to prescription drug monitoring programs and crackdowns on “pill mills,” statistics on prescription drug abuse are starting to improve.
In 2013, the CDC reported five-percent declines in deaths from prescription pain relievers. Those numbers marked the first decline in prescription drug-related deaths since1999. Prescription drug abuse among teens also declined in most areas of the country in 2014. Considering that deaths associated to oxycodone overdoses totaled more than four a day in Florida in 2010, these numbers are good news indeed.
Unfortunately, when one threat is thwarted, it is not uncommon for others to emerge. While prescription drug use is down, heroin use is going up due to more people looking for cheaper options on the street. HIV transmission from needles is also on the rise in unlikely areas like southern Indiana. The national effort to curb drug abuse is far from over.
In the meantime, those struggling with a prescription drug addiction can get help in treatment facilities like Pasadena Recovery Center. Our caring, expert staff is ready to help you through the detox and recovery process, for as long as it takes until you become comfortable in your sobriety once again. Drug abuse may still be a common problem in the U.S., but help is available. Contact Pasadena Recovery Center now at 866-663-3030 to get the help you need.