Despite efforts to prevent the abuse of prescription medications, drug use is still considered an epidemic by many. Recent actions against prescription drug abuse include the proposal of a bill by Senator Bob Casey in Pennsylvania that would create a statewide database of patients who use prescription drugs, to help track those who might become drug abusers.
Although the rate of people ages 12 and older who first used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes has stayed fairly consistent, the numbers are still staggering.
According to a 2012 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) almost 2.4 million people ages 12 and older used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes for the first time in the past year.
Researchers at George Washington University also found that the number of opioid prescriptions given in the emergency room have increased drastically from 2001 to 2010, even though “pain-related complaints” have not gone up at the same rate.
Opioid analgesics were prescribed during 20.8 percent of emergency room visits in 2001, and increased up to 31 percent in 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated last year in a report that there has been a steady increase in overall drug overdose deaths, and deaths involving opioid overdoses have increased as well. In fact, 15,597 people died in the United States from opioid overdose in 2009, and that increased to 16,651 in 2010.
Yet despite all of these problematic findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to approve new prescription drugs, specifically opioids. They approved both Zohydro and Xartemis XR within the last year, both opioids without abuse-deterrent formulas.
With this in mind, one treatment center for addiction is trying to find out what is contributing to the ongoing problem of prescription drug abuse.
Caron Treatment Centers released a survey recently with some insight into what is driving some women to abuse prescription drugs and get treatment.