A new report indicates that prescription pain reliever abuse has increased dramatically across all sectors of society and is America’s fastest-growing drug problem.
The study was conducted by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) findings suggest that prescription painkiller abuse has elevated to a level where it is a public health threat. Their study also found that “non-medical use of prescription pain relievers is now the second most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the nation.” According to the SAMHSA study, substance abuse treatment admissions of those aged 12 and older involving abuse of prescription pain relievers rose by over 400 percent from 2.2 percent in 1998 to 9.8 percent in 2008. The study also found that emergency visits to hospitals involving the non-medical