Drug Abuse Statistics- What We Know

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and the statistics gathered from studies are frankly quite shocking. Over the last decade, the Center for Disease Control has been reporting prescription drug abuse statistics demonstrating that the US is experiencing a major problem. Here are 10 statistics that should not be ignored.statistics

1) Youth Are Starting Earlier than Ever

The statistics reported by many national organizations have been listing adult drug abuse for nearly fifty years. Now, an even scarier trend is being reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC); children are becoming involved in drug abuse at a rapid rate between the ages of twelve and seventeen. In fact, as of 2011, 2,500 children between those ages abused a prescription drug for the first time. The most common drug abused by this group is a pain reliever.

2) Opioids Are Killing at Astounding Rates

You’ve probably seen Mad Menor other television shows that depict men and women using opioids and antidepressants to avoid many of their daily problems. Well, this isn’t too far from the current drug abuse reality taking place in the US today. Abuse of opioids, depressants, and antidepressants are the top 45 percent of drug overdose deaths, which is more than methamphetamine, cocaine, and amphetamines combined.

3) Prescription Medications Are Potent

Prescription drugs not only have a narcotic effect, but they are also incredibly toxic. In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) discovered that the pain reliever Fentanyl is thirty to fifty times more physiologically potent that pure heroin. During that year, prescription drug abuse statistics showed that over 1,000 individuals died from Fentanyl abuse.

4) Drugs Are Killing Every Day

Every day, approximately 100 people die from prescription drug overdoses in the United States. Oftentimes it is a male fatality, but the number of women choosing to abuse prescription drugs is rising and is expected to exceed the percentage of male drug abusers within the next five years. It is hypothesized that women juggling work commitments and childcare are more likely to become abusers than women without children.

5) Psychiatric Medications Are Becoming a Standard

Not only is prescription drug abuse becoming a raging problem in the nation, but more Americans are being medicated than ever before. A recent study shows that over 20 percent of American adults are being treated with prescription drugs for a psychiatric or behavioral disorder.Such a high rate can create drug dependency in adults who are prone to substance abuse. Preventing that abuse could be accomplished through traditional therapeutic methods.

6) Children May Be Raising the Statistics

With the increase in behavioral issues in children, doctors are resorting to prescription medication to treat these young children. More shocking is that the Government Accountability Office recently reported that one-third of all foster children are prescribed at least one psychoactive drug. Many foster children are put on medications such as Xanax, Ritalin, or similar behavior modification drugs.

7) Gender-Based Drug Abuse

While evidence suggests it is more common for men to abuse drugs, medical professionals are seeing a drastic rise in women abusing pain relievers and antidepressants. Last year, eighteen women died each day from drug overdoses that were directly linked to prescription medications. Women are gaining access to these prescription medications by going to clinics and complaining of chronic pain or stress-related issues. At first, the drug serves its intended purpose, but over time these women are developing debilitating drug dependencies.

8) Medical Professionals Are Numbing Americans

In 2012, the Center for Disease Control reported that 7 in 10 Americans take prescription medications each day. Most of these users are being prescribed drugs by their local medical professionals. The consistent overuse of prescription drugs can lead to a dangerous dependency that can result in an overdose or long-term addiction.

9) Doctors Resort to Drug Therapy without Hesitation

Drug abuse statistics demonstrate that 75 percent of doctor visits result in medical professionals prescribing medication to the patient. Although clinicians are attempting to reduce the number of citizens abusing prescription medications, doctors perpetuate the cycle by prescribing medication to people who complain of chronic pain.

10) Abuse of Prescription-Based Opioids Are at an All-Time High

In 2011, 5.1 million out of 7 million Americans who abused prescription medications chose opium derivatives or synthetic opioids as their drugs of choice. Men and women are putting their lives at risk by abusing prescription drugs. Oftentimes, the addiction to opioids becomes so strong that users cannot go a single day without medicating themselves.

August 24, 2015


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