Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prescription Drug Abuse A Mounting Problem

Foster Folly News (Washington, DC) June 30

“'The National Drug Control Strategy provides a blueprint for reducing prescription drug abuse. Parents, law enforcement, the medical community, and all levels of government have a role to play in reducing prescription drug abuse,' Director Kerlikowske, of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said.  In his testimony, Kerlikowske said that several recent studies show the startling increase in prescription drug abuse. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in recent years the number of individuals who, for the first time, consumed prescription drugs for non-medical purposes exceeded the number of first-time marijuana users. Monitoring the Future, a study of youth attitudes and drug use, shows that seven of the top 10 drugs commonly reported abused by 12th graders are prescription drugs. And another study, the 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), showed that from 1997 to 2007, there was a 400 percent increase in treatment admissions for individuals abusing prescription pain killers.  'More than 26,000 Americans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2006, and prescription drugs – particularly opioid painkillers – are considered a major contributor to the total number of drug deaths,' Kerlikowske said."
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