Drug Abuse...It's Not What You Think
POSTED: Friday, July 16, 2010 - 8:10pm
UPDATED: Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 8:28pm
When we think about drug abuse, it’s the familiar street drugs that come to mind. But a new study shows, they are being overtaken by a high you find in that common brown bottle with your doctor’s name on it.
The White House office of drug policy issued a report Thursday that is sobering in it’s implications.
Drug treatment centers are seeing a huge increase in clients…not for heroin or cocaine, but for simple pain killers.
The press conference was to announce the results of a 10 year study by the White House office of national drug control policy.
Now, we usually only think about this when it happens to someone famous, But the study found, it’s all too common.
They report that 9.8% of all hospital admissions for drug abuse were for prescription painkillers.
Alcohol and cocaine admissions actually went down in that time.
“Spikes in prescription drug abuse captured in this study are dramatic, they're pervasive. They are very disturbing.”
“It also says that people are getting into treatment so we can't forget that part of the story that people are getting into treatment. and that's good but what we have to pay attention - the implication is we need a broad public health and public safety approach to this.”
Admissions went up for all age groups, but the biggest jump was in the young…18-24 years of age.
The increase is almost 1000% for that group.
In total, 6 million Americans admit abusing pain killers. The only drug used more in the study was marijuana.
“We are going to engage the full spectrum in dealing with this. It's families. It's the medical community. It's the pharmaceutical industry. It's law enforcement.”
“We can't just do treatment. We can't just do prevention and we can't just do law enforcement intervention. They all have to work together.”
The study says that several factors are in play here. There are more prescriptions for painkillers being written, and that means for a young person in the house, the pills are available.