It's Epidemic: Prescription Drug Abuse & How to Prevent It

Prescription drug abuse is the Nation's fastest-growing drug problem, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, national data show that 1 in 4 people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2010 started by using a prescription drug non-medically.

Some individuals who misuse prescription drugs, particularly teens, believe these substances are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacist. Addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic is not only a top priority for public health, it also will help build stronger communities and allow those with substance abuse disorders to lead healthier, more productive lives.

Author(s), Presenter(s): 
Kerlikowske, R. G., Compton, W. M., Robertson, E., and Spoth, R.
Year published or updated: 
2012