Prescription Drug Abuse Trends

Prescription Drug Abuse Trends Continue to Increase Shows a Cause for Concern

Recent news stories have highlighted the increasing number of prescription drug abuse trends among teens and adults. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse\s 2003 Monitoring the Future survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders found that 10.5 percent of 12th graders reported using Vicodin for non-medical reasons and 4.5 percent of 12th graders reported using OxyContin without a prescription.

Prescription Painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin are opiates and are very powerful medications against pain.  These same medications when taken inappropriately will cause addiction.  Prescription drug abuse can lead to serious adverse consequences, including death from overdose. 

A raise in awareness among doctors about the potential for prescription drug abuse will help lower this trend.  Also reminding young people, their parents and others that prescription drugs can have serious consequences. Encourage parents, grandparents, and other adults to check their medicine cabinets and to discard any prescription drugs that are no longer required, which will aid in prevention of the emerging trends of prescription drug abuse.