Prescription Drug Treatment Admissions Up 400% In Last Ten Years

According to a report released today by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), substance abuse treatment admissions for prescription pain relievers have increasd by 400 percent in the last decade.  

According to the report, the proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions of those aged 12 and older involving abuse of prescription pain relievers increased from 2.2 percent in 1998 to 9.8 percent in 2008.  This dramatic rise in the proportion of admissions associated with the abuse of these drugs occurred among nearly all segments of the population regardless of age, gender, educational level and employment status, and across all regions of the country. 

Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said that the report "highlights the significant public health challenge posed by prescription drug abuse.  These findings should serve as exclamation points to punctuate what we already know – abuse of prescription drugs is our country’s fastest-growing drug problem, the source of which lurks far too often in our home medicine cabinets. Reducing prescription drug abuse is a top priority of this Administration’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy, and requires collaboration across the medical, prevention, treatment, and enforcement communities.”