Prescription Drug Abuse Linked to Rising Number of Deaths

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Several states have recorded increases in prescription drug-related fatalities last year.

Prescription drug abuse remains one of America’s fastest rising categories of substance abuse and has rapidly grown into a national epidemic. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 7.5 million people in the U.S. were current users of prescription drugs non-medically. In addition, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University reported that more than 15 million Americans had abused prescription drugs in the past year.

According to an article in the Portsmouth Herald in New Hampshire prescription medications were responsible for killing 96 of the 147 people who died of drug overdoses in 2005, as reported by the chief medical examiner for the state.

In West Virginia, the Roanoke times reported that in the first nine months of 2005 there were 174 deaths from drug overdoses, and most of them were from prescription drug abuse. Similar reports have come from areas of Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon.

The results from the 2005 Monitoring the Future survey released last week by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of Michigan showed that past-year use of Oxycontin has risen from 4 percent of 12th-graders in 2002 to 5.5 percent in 2005, which is an increase of 40 percent. Another category of drug that showed and increase in use were sedatives such as Valium, Xanax and Librium. In 2005, nearly 8 percent of 12-grade students reported using sedatives non-medically in the last year.

“It’s a shame that millions of people have to be harmed before people really look at the problem,” comments a supervisor at Narconon Arrowhead, which uses the effective drug-free rehabilitation methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, “These medications can be just as harmful as street drugs in many cases.”

As one of the largest and most effective drug education and rehabilitation programs in the nation, Narconon Arrowhead has worked with young and old alike from around the country to combat the use of drugs. As a drug-free program, they recognize that prescription drugs have become a major source of the drug problem in the United States and caution people to remember that all drugs are essentially poisons.

The good news is that drug education and rehabilitation programs aren’t the only ones working to combat the situation. The Associated Press (AP) reported that consumer groups are calling for Congressional hearings on prescription drug safety issues after a number of deaths have been linked to drugs prescribed for hyperactive kids.

From a state level, The U.S. Department of Justice announced last year the release of $6.2 million to help states fight prescription drug abuse. The money was awarded to 22 states to support prescription drug monitoring programs.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy also recently stated that, “Programs and efforts that do not reduce drug use must be restructured or eliminated, an effort to use taxpayer money wisely that this Administration takes seriously.”

Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States, but it can be overcome. For more information about effective drug rehabilitation, contact Narconon Arrowhead today by calling 1-800-468-6933 or visit http://www.stopaddiction.com.

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