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Enhancing Prescription Drug Safety

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socialworker34 Avatar
Posted: 03.28.12, 12:33 PM
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Although there has been a significant decline in the use of some illegal narcotics such as cocaine, reports from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) put forth that almost one-third of individuals 12 years of age and older who took drugs for the first time in 2009, started by abusing prescription drugs. Data also suggests that over 70 percent of individuals who took prescription painkillers got them from family or friends, while approximately 5 percent got them from a "black market" source, such as a drug dealer or from foreign online pharmacies. Furthermore, a recent Monitoring The Future study (America's biggest survey of drug usage within the younger population) showed that prescription pills are the most abused type of drugs second to marijuana. This problem is not limited only to civilians. Non-prescribed drug use in the military has went up from 4 percent to 11 percent among those in active duty over a period of 3 years from 2005 to 2008, mostly due to pharmaceutical drug abuse. Although different classes of pharmaceuticals are taken without a prescription, the largest growing and most harmful probelm involves opiates. The number of opiate-based drugs dispensed for pain relief has spiked in recent years. In 2000, retail pharmacies filled 174 million prescriptions for opiates; a decade later, prescriptions increased by almost 50 percent to 257 million. Another alarming report is that opioid overdoses, usually attributed to heroin, are now due more frequently to abuse of prescription pain relief meds. Rehab programs specializing in painkiller addiction have become more important in helping turn this tide, enabling those afflicted to break the cycle of addiction and start living a happy, meaningful life without the use of opioids. Ideally, the best rehab is a place where people can speak openly and truthfully regarding their drug addiction for the 1st time and without fear of being persecuted or labeled negatively.

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