Are you worried about prescription drug abuse?

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.

Oxycontin is one of the most abused painkillers. AP Photo/Cincinnati Enquirer, Michael Snyder/FILE

Oxycontin is one of the most abused painkillers. AP Photo/Cincinnati Enquirer, Michael Snyder/FILE

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 use of prescription narcotic pain relievers more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.

While the country debates the effectiveness of the war on drugs along with the legalization of medical marijuana in many states, the abuse of prescription drugs has skyrocketed. For many teenagers, gaining access to the medicine cabinet is much easier than the liquor cabinet. With more children and adolescents being prescribed drugs for ADHD and other related behavior issues, the opportunity for abuse rises. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) stated that, “Reducing prescription drug abuse is a top priority of this Administration’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy.”

Has your family been impacted by prescription drug abuse? What steps need to be taken to reduce the rate of prescription drug abuse?

16 comments Add your comment

Rodney S.

July 27th, 2010
9:02 pm

We abuse the drugs and the drug companies abuse us. Pharmaceuticals are a lose-lose proposition. Eat healthy, exercise, go outside some and you’ll feel better.

Candy

July 28th, 2010
3:11 am

What we need is better parenting in this country children don’t have there parents in there life that’s the real problem in America

REGINA

July 28th, 2010
6:48 am

No. 1 Doc’s need to take more time with patients. You can walk into an ER and tell them what is wrong and what you need and they will prescribe it for you.
No. 2 Listen to the parents. We know our children. Most of us are not there to get meds, we really want to know what is wrong with our child. Stop treating the symptoms and start treating the problem.

Kristina

July 28th, 2010
8:22 am

Rodney is correct! There is a pill for everything today…and our society believes pills make us better. What happened to just eating right, exerrcising and enjoying life without being “numb” on painkillers and meds. I am worried about our future generations!

maria

July 28th, 2010
8:56 am

IT’S NOT THE PARENTS FAULT THAT THESE PILLS ARE ON THE STREETS, THERE EVERYWHERE AND NOT ONLY AFFECTING OUR CHILDREN BUT ADULTS ALSO, AND I DON’T BELIVE THAT DRS. REALLY CARE ANY MORE, I BELIEVE IT HAS COME DOWN TO A MONEY MAKING THING.. IF PEOPLE REALLY NEEDED THESE MEDS THEY WOULDN’T BE SELLING THEM AND INSURANCE CO. ARE STUPID TO KEEP PAYING FOR THEM WHILE THE DRUG DEALERS AND DRS. ARE GETTING RICH! IT’S ALL OUT OF CONTROLL

Motocross Survivor

July 28th, 2010
10:13 am

Keep watching those wonderful glossy wonderful scenes from the pill popping wonderfully happy people on the TV commercials from those wonderful drug companies that tell you to ’see your doctor.’ I’m 53 and never go see any doctor. Hells bells, I could have cancer–highly doubt it though–or some other problem, but my philosophy (exercise, no smoking or drinking or drugs) has worked pretty well so far. My insurance premiums pay for all you whiny pill poppers who seem to always be sick.

CVS Sux

July 28th, 2010
10:16 am

I lost my wife to perscription pain medicine. She was forging her own scripts and getting them filled at an all night pharmacy where they did not care to check on the scripts. They had a quota to meet and could care less. The bad thing is she was also getting Suboxone (same as methadone, but for narcotic addicts) from the same pharmacy, same pharmacist. She spent thousands there and got large quantities, no one ever questioned it. She eventually took her own life, but since it was not directly and overdose the big pharmacy was not liable. She did take enough pills to knock herself out in our garage while the car was running. I won’t mention the name of the Pharmacy, but the letters are SCV. My life will never be the same.

Motocross Survivor

July 28th, 2010
10:26 am

“I lost my wife to perscription pain medicine. ”

Sorry to hear your story, really. But how did you wife get started with these things? Did it start innocently enough with a legit prescription for a legit problem, then spiral? And I wouldn’t walk into a CVS to buy anything if I had to drive 30 miles to get it somewhere else. They have some of the most anti-Christmas Christmas ads ever. Then again, I rarely go into any drug store.

J

July 28th, 2010
12:23 pm

Sorry for your loss. I would like to state that Suboxone is not the same as Methadone. Suboxone does not give the user a “high” feeling it attached to the same recepors as an opiate so that the user will go into withdraw. Suboxone is not an opiate and It contains an opiate blocker so the user will not get the affects if they use opiates.

Some of the blame nees to be on the MD’s who are writing the scipts. Drugs such as xannax,valium, clonezapam and other benzodiapams should not be perscribed for more than 14 days yet I know several people who have been taking them for years. In Europe these drugs are not prescibed for more than 10 days.

Renda

July 28th, 2010
1:52 pm

My son has a pain killer addiction. He has acknowledged this addiction, but with no health insurance he has no where to go. He wants off!

Med Taker

July 28th, 2010
2:30 pm

First I would like to say that I am sorry to hear about anyone losing a Family Member, Friend or anyone else due to pain meds. Second, I take some hard-core medications everyday due to diabetic neuropathy. Do I like to take these medications? No I do not and I can tell you that with this pain, you are not able to get out and walk, excercise or do to much because your legs swell up and the pain will just about leave you in tears. I eat right and do what I am suppose to do but I am still affected by this. A 10-15 day limit does not cut it for me or anyone else that I know of that has this problem. Some of us are stricken with health issues that force us to use medications that others see as a “sin”. For one day I wish that all of the people that think we can get by without these meds, live in my shoes and then you might re-think what you are saying.

I am not asking for pity or sympathy for anyone. If me living with this and going through the pains that I go through every waking minute of my life, changes just one person’s way of living, then maybe this is what God put me on earth for.

I know that pain med addiction is a growing problem on this earth. To get this type of medication, you must go see a pain specialist or have a very good friend that is a pain specialist. A normal doctor cannot write these types of precriptions. To prevent people from getting into your medication bottles, take the pills with you and when you are at home, lock them up or put them in a place that no one knows but you. This is what I do and yet to this day has anyone taken any of my pills from me.

Maybe one day someone will take them all from me and the only person that I see doing that is my God in Heaven!!!!

citizen

July 28th, 2010
5:30 pm

To Renda:
The only treatment method your son needs is abstinence.
This can be accomplished by one minute at a time, then 10 minutes at a time, then one hour at a time, two hours at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time. When soberity becomes the normal feeling you are just beginning the healing process. I wish you the very best.

A

July 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

CVS sux:Your wife sounds like she was very sensitive, both to medication and to life in general. I am sorry for your loss.

Renda: There are support groups for people coping with addictions. He could try that. I would disagree with ‘citizen’. Depending on what drug he is using abrupt withdrawal could be very dangerous. Look the drug up on the internet (a reliable site) for more information. He could ease himself off. Good luck.

Alzheimer's

August 5th, 2010
11:45 pm

Talking with your doctor is very important.

Assisted Living Facility

August 11th, 2010
12:35 am

Treating your body with respect is the first thing you should do before deciding which medicines you should be on.

Drug Addict

September 15th, 2010
7:56 am

As long as I am able to feed my drug habit I will not need to break into your house and steal from people. The Federal Govt needs to provide me with more presription medication and I demand welfare, food stamps and all the fixins.