Prescription Drug Abuse: It Starts at Home

by The Discovering Alcoholic on November 30, 2008

Prescription Drug Abuse Stats at The Discovering Alcoholic

While setting up my presentation for the substance abuse outreach program I kept running across a statistic on prescription drug abuse that really bothered me.

Seventy percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives.

  • Sixty-four percent of teens (12-17) who have abused pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives, often without their knowledge. (NSDUH, 2007)
  • Nearly half (46%) of teens say they got prescription pain relievers for free from a relative or friend. Eight percent say they bought pain relievers from a friend or relative, and another 10 percent say they took the drugs without asking.
  • About two-thirds (64%) of teenagers who have abused prescription stimulants report getting, buying, or stealing them from friends or relatives.
  • Prescription for Danger

    Click “Read more” to see why this particular stat bothers me…

    This figure scares me not because I think we have a massive outbreak of parental neglect, but because it is indicative of an almost complete societal acceptance of yet another class of extremely dangerous substances… the first was alcohol. We drink in front of our kids, it’s in all the movies, and it can be difficult these days to even separate drinking from school and sports. That is why the tens of thousands that die from alcohol every year, billions are wasted, and it creates an endless amount of tragedy and pain- all of this is just written off as an acceptable loss not to get in the way of our love affair with alcohol.

    The same thing is happening now with prescription drugs, especially pain killers. They are hoarded by families and then used nonchalantly for anything from a hangnail to a headache. They are freely shared with others regardless of original prescriptions and many go as far to self prescribe them to their own children. No wonder kids think them safe! America already consumes 80% of the world supply of opioids and 99% of all hydrocodone- so it may already be too late for me to be warning about acceptance.

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