In , 1 in 20 people in the US age 12 or older reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in the past year. Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for a month. The number of overdose deaths is now greater than those of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. In , about 12 million Americans age 12 or older reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year. Although most of these pills were prescribed for a medical purpose, many ended up in the hands of people who misused or abused them.
Do you suspect that your child is abusing alcohol or using drugs? Are you worried? Have you noticed some changes with your child? As a parent, it is normal to be concerned. The more you learn about addiction, the better prepared you will be to combat it.
Is someone you love abusing opioid medications? It may not be easy to tell, especially in the early stages of addiction. Perhaps you've noticed changes in your loved one's moods or behavior that don't add up. Or maybe your intuition is telling you there's a problem. Even if you can't put your finger on anything specific, it's worth taking stock of your concerns.
Trends analysis of drug poisoning deaths has helped explain a national epidemic of overdose deaths in the USA that began in the s, concludes Leonard Paulozzi and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA. The contribution of prescription pain killers to the epidemic has only become clear recently. This research is published this week in the journal, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.