Informed Families Catalyst

7 Important Facts About Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 30, 2015 at 3:20 PM


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

Prescription drugs are often strong medications, which is why they require a prescription in the first place. When they are abused, they can be just as dangerous as illegal 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.



Download the Home Medicine Inventory Card 

Topics: prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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