Prescription drug abuse is growing at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health published in 2009, more than 8.3 million Americans reported current use of prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the previous year. Opiates or opiate-related prescription drugs such as hydrocodone prescribed for pain relief are becoming the leading type of drug for misuse and abuse, and these are the most common factors leading to addiction. For example, the group Partnership For A Drug Free America released a study in late 2010 showing that the treatment admission rate at drug rehab centers for opiates other than heroin (like narcotic pain relievers) rose 378% from 2000-2010. The availability of drugs is probably one reason drug abuse treatment centers are busier than ever. Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more health problems than ever before. Online pharmacies make it easy to get prescription drugs without a prescription, even for under age teens. The proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions of those aged 12 and older involving abuse of prescription pain relievers rose by over 400 percent from 4.2 percent in 2000 to 12.8 percent in 2009 according to a recent study regarding increasing admissions at Drug Treatment centers for prescription drug abuse. This dramatic rise in the proportion of admissions associated with the abuse of these drugs occurred among nearly all segments of the population regardless of age, gender, educational level and employment status. For example, among men the proportion of treatment admissions involving the abuse of prescription pain relievers rose from 3.8 percent in 2000 to 13.1 percent in 2009, while among women the proportion of admissions due to misuse increased from 5.5 percent in 2000 to 17.3 percent in 2009.
The upward trend also held true among admissions to drug treatment centers that help individuals to recover from prescription drug abuse. Since 2000 the proportion of admissions to drug treatment centers involving prescription pain reliever abuse tripled from 8.8 percent to 29.5 percent. The abuse and recreational use of prescription pain-relievers is now the second most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the nation, and its tragic consequences are seen in substance abuse treatment centers and hospital emergency departments throughout our nation.
The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Report recently released portions of a report that highlighted the significant public health challenge posed by prescription drug abuse, said R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). These findings should serve as exclamation points to punctuate what we already know abuse of prescription drugs is our country's fastest-growing drug problem, the source of which lurks far too often in our home medicine cabinets. The study, Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involving Abuse of Pain Relievers 2000-2010, was based on data from Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) - a reporting system involving treatment facilities from across the country. The study was developed as part of the agency's strategic initiative on data, outcomes, and quality - an effort to inform policy makers and service providers on the nature and scope of behavioral health issues.
Prescription drugs can ease pain and aid in recovery, but they are also one of the most common roads to abuse and addiction around today. If you're going to get better, you've got to get all the way better, and that can only happen by finding the drug abuse treatment plan that's right for you. Drug abuse treatment works when it's properly conceived and expertly administered. With so much on the line, you can't afford to settle for anything less when choosing a drug treatment center. Treatment for an individual suffering from an addiction to prescription pain medications is readily available; you just have to reach out for help. When seeking treatment for prescription drug addiction, be sure to ask about the drug rehab center's success rate. Recovery does not have to be a dream, it can happen, at a drug treatment center with a proven track record in helping individuals with addictions to prescription drugs.