Prescription Drug Abuse is a National Epidemic
Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate of current nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs (psychotherapeutic pain relievers, stimulants, tranquilizers and sedatives) in 2012 was 5.3 percent.
In 2008, there were 14,800 prescription painkiller deaths. For every one death, there were an additional 10 substance abuse treatment admissions, 32 emergency room visits,130 persons who abuse or are dependent, and 825 persons who report nonmedical use of opioids.
100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States.
In California the rate of nonmedical use of prescription painkillers was 9.4% in 2010-11 for young people of college age (18-25). One in 10 (10.4 percent) persons aged 18 to 25 nationally reported having used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year.
Misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation's most prevalent illicit drug problem and is a public health concern, with approximately 22 million persons initiating nonmedical pain reliever use since 2002.
For more information on drug overdoses
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.
For more information about prevention of substance abuse