Prescription Drug Abuse: What You Need to Know

prescription-pillsPrescription drug abuse is deadly. Whether used with a legitimate prescription or not, the number of overdose deaths caused by misuse of addictive opiate painkillers outnumbered the deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined in recent years, according to PBS.

Though of huge concern, the incredible loss of life caused by these drugs is not the only issue at hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for every life lost to painkiller overdose:

  • 10 people are admitted to drug rehab for help overcoming painkiller abuse
  • 32 ER admissions are made for the use of opiate medications
  • 130 people live with an active painkiller dependence or ongoing abuse issue
  • 825 people use opiate medications without a prescription or outside the parameters of their prescription

What You Should Know

Too often, people are flippant about their use of prescription painkillers because they view their use as safe. Due to the fact that they are originally prescribed by a doctor, created in a lab, and dispensed a pharmacy, many mistakenly believe that their use for any purpose by anyone is inherently safe. This is not the case, however.

Here’s what you need to know about the effects of prescription painkiller use and abuse, according to PBS:

  • Deaths caused by prescription painkillers accounted for almost half of all drug overdose deaths in 2010; an estimated 45 of the 105 drug-related overdose deaths per day were caused by opiate pain relievers.
  • In 2010, four times as many prescription painkillers were prescribed in the United States as compared to the number of these prescriptions handed out in1999.
  • “Epidemic” is the only appropriate word to describe the number of deaths caused by prescription painkillers. A little more than 4,000 people died of painkiller overdose in 1999; that number more than quadrupled to 16,650+ deaths in 2010.
  • About one in 20 Americans reported the use of opiate pain relievers for non-medical use in the past year.
  • Families can mitigate the risk of prescription drug abuse in their homes by getting rid of unwanted or unused prescriptions and helping those who have an ongoing prescription for an addictive painkiller to avoid falling into the trap of abuse and addiction.
  • Drug monitoring programs can help to limit the abuse of prescriptions and stop those who would sell their prescriptions as well as help to identify those in need of treatment for dependence upon their medication.
  • Drug abuse treatment can help patients to overcome their addiction to prescription pain relievers.

Treatment Can Begin Today

Learn more about our unique program for those who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse here at Axis today. Call the phone number listed above now to find out how we can help your family heal.