Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse

Most people are unaware of just how serious the issue of prescription drug abuse is in the United States of America. InPainkiller Infographic Full Size fact, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) cites the death of 14,800 people in 2008 due to the abuse and misuse of opioid pain medications. In additional 20,044 people died the same year as a result of overdosing on other types of prescription drugs. Still, in that year, ovoid pain medications accounted for more hospital visits and more deaths than any other drug. In total, prescription drugs accounted for nearly 36,450 deaths in America in 2008; nearly 100 people per day.

This major, widespread societal problem does not show any signs of slowing down either. In 1990, nearly four of every 100,000 Americans died from some type of prescription drug overdose; in 2000, that number continued to climb, reaching nearly seven in 100,000 people dying due to prescription drugs; and in 2008, the number had reached over 12 in every 100,000 people. This proved to be a shocking and unsettling finding by the United States Center for Disease Control.

The main issue may be that prescription drugs are more readily accessible by the public. Over half of the population that abuses prescription painkillers get the drugs for free from a friend or relative. Another 17.5 percent of prescription drug abuser are prescribed the very same painkillers they abuse by a licensed doctor. An even smaller percentage (11.4 percent) buy the drugs from a friend or relative. Only a very small percentage (4.4 percent) of prescription drug abusers obtain their drugs from a drug dealer or stranger. Drug abusers trust their family members and friends, making the whole process of obtaining drugs much more pleasant (in comparison to going through a drug dealer or stranger). Another issue may be that the family members and friends who are handing out their prescriptions do not realize the harm they are inflicting upon the drug abuser.

The infographic with this post is presented by Origins Recovery Center.

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