July 17, 2013

Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

Prescription Drugs 

We are witnessing a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse!  A culture of solving problems with a pill has developed over the last two decades.  Watch TV, listen to the radio, read magazines, or browse the internet and you cannot avoid advertisements for improving your mood, building your muscles, losing weight, sleeping more soundly or conquering any ailment you may have.

Prescription Drugs Are Addictive

The problem is that many of these drugs are extremely addictive and continuous use can produce neurological changes as well as physiological dependence.  Here are some alarming statistics:
  • the three most abused drug classes are narcotic painkillers (opioids), central nervous system depressants and stimulants
  • between 1991 and 2010 prescription stimulants increased from 5 million to 45 million
  • 6600 people per day started non-medical use of prescription drugs in 2010
  • from 2004 to 2008, the CDC reported emergency room visits for non-medical use of prescription drugs increased 111%, from 144,644 to 305, 900
  • the largest age group overdosing on prescription drugs is 35 to 44
  • the Center for Health Statistics reports these groups had the highest percentage of overdoses: non-hispanic whites 13.5%, native Americans 11.7% and non-hispanic blacks 10.9%
  • 40 people a day die from non-prescription overdoses
  • enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month

Source: Health Blog

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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