Prescription Drug Abuse Not What the Doctor Ordered

July 8, 2010 reports on prescription drug abuse. Since prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, ONDCP launched a prescription drug abuse initiative aimed at preventing and reducing prescription drug abuse and emergency room visits resulting from that abuse.

A recent national survey of high-school students reported that among 12th graders surveyed, 7 of the top 10 abused substances are pharmaceuticals. Between 1997 and 2007, treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased 111 percent. In addition, the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that most people who abuse these drugs are getting them from friends and family or from a doctor.

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