Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is an epidemic. The U.S. accounts for 5% of the world population but consumes 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. Recent studies show 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. Each day, 2,500 teens take prescription drugs recreationally for the first time.
The easy accessibility of prescription drugs increases their appeal. In 2010, enough painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult every four hours for an entire month. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, the majority caused by prescription drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is taking the drug in a way different from what the doctor prescribed including larger doses or for other purposes.