Interstate Variations in Use of Narcotics (PDF) – The overuse of narcotics is a major national public health problem. Medical treatment guidelines recommend that patients who receive ongoing narcotics prescriptions be actively monitored by their physician using urine tests and psychological evaluations. Unfortunately, many physicians who prescribed narcotics to injured workers were not following recommended guidelines to monitor use, abuse, and diversion. As a result, patients in certain states who began treatment with narcotics were more likely to end up using narcotics on a longer-term basis. For example, in Louisiana 1 out of 6 injured workers who were given narcotics initially still received 3 or more narcotics prescriptions 6 months after the injury. In the typical state, the figure was 1 out of 20. WCRI / July 2011.
Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask (PDF)
CDC Grand Rounds: Prescription Drug Overdoses — a U.S. Epidemic – In 2007, approximately 27,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, one death every 19 minutes. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. The increase in unintentional drug overdose death rates in recent years has been driven by increased use of a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics. January 13, 2012.
Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S. – Deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The number of overdose deaths is now greater than those of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. A big part of the problem is nonmedical use of prescription painkillers—using drugs without a prescription, or using drugs just for the “high” they cause. In 2010, about 12 million Americans (age 12 or older) reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year. November 1, 2011.
Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health – The use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010, according to a national survey conducted by SAMHSA. The survey shows that 22.6 million Americans age 12 or older (8.9 percent of the population) were current illicit drug users. Another disturbing trend is the continuing rise in the rate of current illicit drug use among young adults age 18 to 25 – from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.2 percent in 2009 and 21.5 percent in 2010. September 2011.
Adolescent Substance Abuse: America’s #1 Public Health Problem (PDF) – CASA’s new national study declares teen smoking, drinking, misusing prescription drugs and using illegal drugs a public health problem of epidemic proportions. The report reviews current knowledge of the science of addiction as a complex brain disease with origins in adolescence, documents how adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of substance use, and reveals the enormous and costly health and social consequences of teen substance use. For a summary and additional information visit their website. June 29, 2011
Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis, 2011 (PDF) – ONDCP report offering a compelling description of the extent to which the prescription drug abuse problem in America has grown over the last decade, and should serve to highlight the critical role parents, patients, healthcare providers, and manufacturers play in preventing prescription drug abuse.
National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services (PDF) – U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report showing a noteworthy change in the reason Americans are seeking treatment for opioid substance use. In 1999, eight percent of all opioid-related treatment admissions were attributable mostly to prescription medications. In 2009, that figure reached 33 percent.