Monday, August 10, 2015

The public health issue of our time: prescription drug abuse

The News & Observer, August 3, 2015

"The North Carolina Medical Society, dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of North Carolinians, is faced with a public health emergency – opioid abuse.

North Carolina is not alone. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, in 2012 an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffered from substance-use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. This number includes people with chronic pain who may abuse their prescriptions as well as addicts who may buy them on the street or shop around until they find a new doctor who will prescribe the drugs.

The number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more Americans die each year from prescription drug overdoses than motor vehicle wrecks. Data from the N.C. Division of Public Health reveal more than 1,000 people in our state die of prescription drug abuse annually." Read more

For resources to talk with your teen about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here.

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