Do you take any prescription medications that were not prescribed for you? If not, you soon will be in the minority. That’s how rampant prescription medication abuse is in this country right now!
According to a recent US Government study, more than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtain the drugs from friends or relatives, usually with permission and for free.
The study, reported in Reuters, based on an ongoing national survey of nearly 70,000 Americans aged 12 and over, offers a snapshot of a growing health and safety problem that is already responsible for more fatal overdoses than cocaine and heroin, combined, and has begun to spawn other crimes including gang violence.
It estimated that more than 7 million Americans abuse pharmaceutical drugs. Prescription drugs account for about 75 percent of all drug-related U.S. overdose deaths. Pain killers like oxycodone are responsible for ¾ of all pill overdoses in the US.
With data showing the home medicine cabinet to be a prime source, law authorities around the country face a daunting public education challenge to persuade legal drug users to dispose of medication properly before it can fall into the wrong hands.
A program devoted to media outreach, which originated under President Bill Clinton, is no longer being funded by Congress.
The president has requested $20 million for a media campaign that had been run successfully from this office. Unfortunately, last year, Congress did not fund it.
In the meantime, the criminal threat posed by illicit pill mills and dealers - who can include doctors and pharmacists - has begun to spread across the United States. We need more drug classes and education to keep kids and adults off of drugs.