Pain med addiction skyrocketed over the last decade in usa

Pain med addiction skyrocketed over the last decade in usa

In 1998 2.2% of drug rehab patients were being treated for addiction to prescription pain relievers, in 2008 the percentage grew to 9.8%; more than a four-fold increase, according to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

This sharp rise in rehab admissions linked to these types of medications affected people of all ages (over 12 years), sexes, and socioeconomic levels.

Between 1998 and 2008:

  • The male percentage grew from 1.8% in 1998 to 8.1.
  • The female percentage grew from 3.5% in 1998 to 13.3%.
  • Among individuals with a maximum educational level of eighth grade, the percentage grew from 1.9% to 9.7%.
  • Among individuals with a minimum educational level of high school, the percentage grew from 3.8% to 12.1%.
The rise also held true among admissions for which medication-assisted opioid therapies, such as methadone or buprenorphine, were planned. Since 1998 the percentage of medication-assisted therapy admissions involving prescription pain reliever abuse more than tripled from 6.8% to 26.5%.

A previous SAMHSA study (June 2010) found that emergency hospital visits involving non-medical use of prescription narcotic pain relievers rose by over 100% between 2004 and 2008.

Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. SAMHSA Administrator, said:

The non-medical use of prescription pain-relievers is now the second most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the nation, and its tragic consequences are seen in substance abuse treatment centers and hospital emergency departments throughout our nation. This public health threat demands that we follow the President's National Drug Control Strategy's call for an all out effort to raise awareness of this risk and the critical importance of properly using, storing, and disposing of these powerful drugs.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said:

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Report released today highlights the significant public health challenge posed by prescription drug abuse. These findings should serve as exclamation points to punctuate what we already know - abuse of prescription drugs is our country's fastest-growing drug problem, the source of which lurks far too often in our home medicine cabinets. Reducing prescription drug abuse is a top priority of this Administration's 2010 National Drug Control Strategy, and requires collaboration across the medical, prevention, treatment, and enforcement communities.

Thomas McLellan, Deputy Director of ONDCP, said:

Our national prescription drug abuse problem cannot be ignored. I have worked in the treatment field for the last 35 years, and recent trends regarding the extent of prescription drug abuse are startling. We must work with prescribers, the pharmaceutical industry, and families to help us fight this scourge.

The study, "Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involving Abuse of Pain Relievers: 1998 and 2008", was based on data from SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) - a reporting system involving treatment facilities from across the country. The study was developed as part of the agency's strategic initiative on data, outcomes, and quality - an effort to inform policy makers and service providers on the nature and scope of behavioral health issues.

Source: SAMHSA.

American Epidemic: The Nation's Struggle With Opioid Addiction (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Psychiatry