Prescription drugs are quickly becoming a significant problem. People are becoming addicted to them at an alarming rate, and the female and teenage populations are being hit especially hard. Here are 6 terrifying facts about prescription drugs that you should know.
If someone you know is experiencing prescription addiction issues, we encourage you to start exploring non 12-step rehab as a potential solution.
Prescription Drug Abuse Kills More People Than Traffic Accidents
Yes, more people die from prescription drug abuse than car accidents. In 2009, the latest year from which data is available, there were approximately 37,500 deaths attributed to prescription drug abuse, a number that exceeds traffic accidents by more than 1,000. While some may argue this is because of increased auto safety standards, this is a statistic we should still be worried about. We’re seeing an upward trend in prescription drug abuse and must address it.
Nearly 7 out of 10 Teens Who Abuse Prescription Drugs First Received Them From Friend or Relative
The ease of obtaining prescription drugs is one factor as to why we are seeing an increase in abuse. It’s been reported that 64% of teens who have abused prescription drugs first obtained them from a friend or family member. Perhaps knowingly or unknowingly. Either way, not having to go through the same channels as you might to obtain cocaine or heroin makes prescription drug abuse a high risk for teens.
120,000 Americans Are Hospitalized Each Year for Overdosing on Painkillers
The death toll is rapidly rising for prescription drug abuse, but so is the number of hospitalizations. USA Today reports that nearly 120,000 Americans visit an emergency room every year as a result of overdosing on opioid painkillers.
Prescription Drugs Are the Leading Cause of Fatal Overdose
Prescription drugs are the leading cause of fatal overdose. Often, it’s not just a typical painkiller that is ingested either. It’s a combination of prescription pain medication and a mental health medication. The CDC found that 30.1% of prescription drug overdoses also included benzodiazepine and 13.4% included antidepressants. This is a reason why holistic care is so important to an individual’s recovery process.
7 in 10 Teens Do Not Know Why They Abused Prescription Drugs
Better drug abuse education is needed, especially with teens. An astounding 70% of teens who abused prescription drugs were not aware why they were abusing the prescription drugs. Some answers had deliberate reasons like, relaxing, stress, and peer pressure, but for the vast majority, they had no idea.
Prescription Pain Pill Abuse and Overdose Death Rates Are Highest in Rural America
Rural America is a target for prescription drug abuse because of access. Unlike larger, metropolitan cities, where access to drugs like cocaine and heroin are prevalent, rural towns don’t have these options. But they do have access to prescription pain medications. This is why abuse and overdose rates are higher. Don’t think because you live in a nice, quiet neighborhood your loved one is protected from drug abuse.
Prescription drug abuse is not a new phenomenon. It’s an addiction that is fast growing due to access and naiveté. Don’t let someone you love become addicted because you don’t know the facts. Be aware and understand how dangerous prescription drug addiction really is.