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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.

07-07 Prescription opioid use doubles during past decade: Study

Posted in Blog, Opioids by Rachael - 0 Comments
Prescription opioid use doubles during past decade: Study

Opioids are usually prescribed to relieve chronic pain. There is no set standard to measure the benefits obtained from opioids, but the potential risks of their overdose and addiction are evident from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports — more than 165,000 people in the U.S. died from prescription opioid overdose during 1999-2014.

Various government agencies are using prescription drug monitoring programs to check prescription of opioids and painkillers. A recent study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in June 2016, revealed that non-medical use of prescription opioids among American adults went up by more than two times from early 2000s to 2012-2013.

The study also indicated that an estimated 10 million adult (4.1 percent) Americans had used opioids in 2012-2013 in a manner not prescribed or advised by a doctor, as compared to only 1.8 percent during 2001-2002. The study also indicated a nearly 11 percent rise in non-medical use of prescription opioids by Americans during some point in their lives compared with only 4.7 percent a decade ago.

Misuse of prescription opioids can cause fatalities from overdose

For the study, titled “Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use and DSM-5 Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in the United States,” the researchers examined details obtained from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) conducted on more than 36,000 American adults by the NIAAA.

Emphasizing on the increasing number of people getting addicted to prescription opioid use, Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), said, “The increasing misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers poses a myriad of serious public health consequences. These include increases in opioid use disorders and related fatalities from overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of newborns who experience neonatal abstinence syndrome. In some instances, prescription opioid misuse can progress to intravenous heroin use with consequent increases in risk for HIV, hepatitis C and other infections among individuals sharing needles.”

Based on the data analyzed by the NESARC-III, the scientists noted that people suffering from alcohol use disorder during some point in their lives are at two times higher risk of suffering from opioid use disorder. However, treatment for prescription drug abuse is not in accordance with the need. It was found that only 5 percent of people abusing prescription opioids had received treatment during the previous year, and 17 percent of those with prescription use disorder receive treatment during any given time period. “Given the dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids, it is important that clinicians and patients also recognize the potent interaction of opioids with alcohol and other sedative-hypnotic drugs — an interaction that can be lethal,” said NIAAA Director Dr. George F. Koob.

The study suggested that from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, non-medical use of prescription opioids among American adults increased by 161 percent and prescription opioid use disorder rose by 125 percent. This rising trend focused on large incidence of drug use disorders and associated mental illnesses. While chronic depression and major depression are associated with non-medical prescription opioid use, bipolar disorder is associated with prescription opioid abuse.

Road to recovery

The results of the survey provided insights into the ubiquity of prescription opioid use disorders and the increase in number of people affected by prescription drug abuse. The study also focused on whether sufficient treatment facilities were available for providing the necessary medical interventions.

If you or your loved one has been using opioids, it is important that you seek immediate medical assistance. It is also important to educate people about the possible perils linked to opioid addiction. The Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline can help you get more information about the best prescription drug rehab centers in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online with our experts for further advice on prescription opioid rehabilitation centers in Colorado.