Prescription drugs Rx Drugs Courtesy of emagic What are you putting into your body? Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic

Prescription Drug Abuse Information and Resources

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional use of a medication: without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience/ feeling it causes. Prescription drug abuse ranges from ignoring dosage instructions to taking someone else’s prescription to get high.The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 20 percent of people in the United States have abused prescription drugs. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has called Prescription Drug Abuse an epidemic.

The three most common types of prescription drugs that people abuse are:

The availability and legal possession of prescription drugs is the leading cause of their abuse. Doctors are prescribing more drugs than ever before. Online pharmacies make it easy to get prescription drugs without a prescription. Between 1991 and 2010, stimulant prescriptions increased from 5 million to nearly 45 million, and opioid analgesic prescriptions increased from about 75.5 million to 209.5 million.

The greatest danger of prescription drugs is the perception that they are safer than illegal drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacist. The most important thing to remember about prescription drugs is that they are made from illegal drugs; and abusing them can still lead to addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and other side effects.

Here are some links to help you learn more about prescription drug abuse:

Articles

Adolescent Prescription ADHD Medication Abuse Is Rising Along With Prescriptions for These Medications

Original Article here

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We sought to better understand the trend for prescription attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication abuse by teenagers.

METHODS: We queried the American Association of Poison Control Center's National Poison Data System for the years of 1998–2005 for all cases involving people aged 13 to 19 years, for which the reason was intentional abuse or intentional misuse and the substance was a prescription medication used for ADHD treatment. For trend comparison, we sought data on the total number of exposures. In addition, we used teen and preteen ADHD medication sales data from IMS Health's National Disease and Therapeutic Index database to compare poison center call trends with likely availability.

RESULTS: Calls related to teenaged victims of prescription ADHD medication abuse rose 76%, which is faster than calls for victims of substance abuse generally and teen substance abuse. The annual rate of total and teen exposures was unchanged. Over the 8 years, estimated prescriptions for teenagers and preteenagers increased 133% for amphetamine products, 52% for methylphenidate products, and 80% for both together. Reports of exposure to methylphenidate fell from 78% to 30%, whereas methylphenidate as a percentage of ADHD prescriptions decreased from 66% to 56%. Substance-related abuse calls per million adolescent prescriptions rose 140%.

CONCLUSIONS: The sharp increase, out of proportion to other poison center calls, suggests a rising problem with teen ADHD stimulant medication abuse. Case severity increased over time. Sales data of ADHD medications suggest that the use and call-volume increase reflects availability, but the increase disproportionately involves amphetamines.

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Drop in Illicit Drug Use in Cities, Uptick in Prescription Drug Abuse

ER visits from street drugs declined 8 percent in 3-year period, study found 

Original Article here

By Robert Preidt
Monday, October 15, 2012
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MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Illicit drug use has declined in most large U.S. cities in recent years, but prescription drug abuse has increased, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed data on drug-abuse related visits to emergency departments in 11 major metropolitan areas and some smaller urban areas over three years, 2007-2009. The data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network was separated into two types of drug abuse: prescription drugs such as the pain medication OxyContin and illegal street drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

In 2007, illicit drug abuse accounted for more emergency department visits than prescription drug abuse, 36 percent vs. 20 percent, for all metro areas except the Phoenix region.

Rates of visits for street drug abuse in the metropolitan areas varied considerably more than for prescription drug abuse. In general, visits for prescription drug abuse rates were more consistent among the metropolitan areas but there were a few spikes, with higher rates in Houston (33 percent) and Phoenix (27 percent).

From 2007 to 2009, there was an 8 percent decline in overall emergency department visits for street drug abuse, while overall visits for prescription drug abuse increased 2 percent.

Overall rates of visits for street drug abuse were 36 percent in 2007, 32 percent in 2008, and 28 percent in 2009. Rates for prescription drug abuse were 20 percent in 2007, 21 percent in 2008 and 22 percent in 2009.

The total number of visits for both types of drug abuse were 301,000 in 2007, 352,000 in 2008 and 280,000 in 2009, according to the study to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, in Washington, D.C.

"The harsh reality is prescription drug abuse has become a growing problem in our society," study author Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, a professor in the anesthesiology department at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in a society news release.

"We hope the results of this study will aid physicians in effectively treating patients who struggle with prescription drug abuse, as well as encourage widespread patient education about the safe use, storage and disposal of medications," Buvanendran added.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

SOURCE: American Society of Anesthesiologists, news release, Oct. 15, 2012
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