While the news headlines are dominated by illicit drugs like Cocaine, Meth and Heroin, the sleeping giant of prescription drug abuse has cased more overdose deaths than all of these combined.
Here are 7 important facts about Prescription Drug Abuse:
1 - Prescription Drugs are not necessarily safer than Illicit Drugs
2 - Prescription Drug Abuse can result in Addiction and Death
More than half of the drug overdose deaths in the United States each year are caused by prescription drug abuse. In the last decade, the number of deaths from abuse of prescription drugs has increased dramatically.
3 - 20% of High School Seniors admit to having abused a prescription drug.
4 - Over-the-Counter Drugs are also frequently abused.
People often think that prescription and OTC drugs are safer than illicit drugs, but that’s only true when they are taken exactly as prescribed and for the purpose intended. When abused, prescription and OTC drugs can be addictive and put abusers at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose—especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.
5 - Opioid abuse results in more deaths than Heroin and Cocaine.
6 - Most teens get Prescription Drugs from friends and family.
Statistics indicate that prescription drugs are usually sourced by middle and high school students at home or from a friends. Using the Home Medicine Inventory Card is a great way to keep track of your meds and battle against this factor.
7 - Boys and Girls abuse for Different Reasons
NIDA researchers surveyed hundreds of teens and asked them about their motivations for using particular prescription drugs. For stimulants like ADHD medications, for example, the young men were more likely to abuse them to get high or experiment, while for young women, it was to help them concentrate or stay alert.
Prescription drug abuse is a serious and complex issue, but taking steps to prevent it can be quite simple. Since most children get prescription drugs from their household or from their friends, secure your medication and keep track of your medication to be sure nothing is missing. Download our FREE Home Medicine Inventory Card below.