Prescription Drug Abuse Trends

/ / Current Drug Trends, Drug Safety, Prescription Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently published some drug trend statistics pertaining to prescription medications in particular. The misuse of prescription drugs in the United States remains high and will require a concerted effort by all cities and states to educate the public & to prevent Rx drug abuse wherever possible.

Here are some compelling and thought-provoking numbers:

  • 52 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetimes.
  • 6.1 million have used them recreationally in the past month.
  • The United States is 5% of the world’s population but consumes 75% of the world’s prescription drugs.
  • Painkillers were the most abused prescription drug in America in 2010 with 5.1 million opioid abusers, followed by 2.2 million tranquilizer abusers, and 1.1 million stimulant abusers.
  • 54.2% of prescription drugs used were obtained free from a friend or relative.
  • Of teens who took medication not prescribed to them, 62% said they did it because it was easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinet. 51% said they took them because they were not “illegal”.