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Prescription Drug Addiction Targeted By Medicine Abuse Awareness Month
Congress has declared August as “Medicine Abuse Awareness Month” in response to the colossally expensive consequences of the prescription drug addiction and abuse across America.
The soaring increase in prescription drug addiction and abuse is costing society far more than hundreds of millions of dollars in medical, legal, law enforcement, lost production and lost wage costs. In just the same manner as street drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, prescription drug addiction and abuse has caused an explosion in drug-related crime, injury and death, and family disruption among all walks life.
In a recent press release, the U.S. Dept. of Justice described the extent of prescription drug addiction and abuse in the country as the “fastest growing illegal drug problem in America. In the government’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans reported having misused controlled-substance prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, with another 4.7 million misusing pain relievers. Prescription drug abuse led all other drug categories in new initiates in 2004 and 2005.”
The DOJ points out that what constitutes dangerous drugs, and where they come from, is widely misunderstood.
“If one were to ask most average Americans who are the biggest sources of supply for today’s most dangerous drugs, they would probably give answers including South American drug cartels, criminal neighborhood gangs, or the corner drug dealer,” The DOJ release states. “Few would know that one of the biggest sources of supply for dangerous drugs today is our own bathroom medicine cabinet.”
And if you know eight teenagers, chances are you know a kid who has tried one or more prescription drugs just to get high. In a recent survey, says the DOJ, 1 out of 8 teens admitted having abused prescription drugs without a prescription. Almost 40 percent thought it was acceptable to take prescription medicine without a prescription. And 52 percent said that prescription drugs are easier to get and safer than street drugs — a dangerously false idea that has led thousands of young people into prescription drug addiction and a life ruined as surely and quickly as anyone trapped by meth, heroin or crack cocaine.
So, the message clearly is to take responsibility for ensuring that the medicines in our homes are securely put away, and the dangers of prescription drug addiction are made clear to our kids, relatives and friends. And if you know anyone with a prescription drug problem, speak to a professional at the nearest medical drug detox facility right away.
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