Prevalence Of Prescription Drugs Breeding Misuse, Abuse
According to a new survey, nearly half of Americans have a prescription for psychotherapeutic drugs. "Any of us go to the doctor and feel like we don't get our money's worth if we don't come out with a prescription, right?" says Kim Johnson, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Widespread Use Of Prescription Drugs Provides Ample Supply For Abuse
Almost half of all Americans take prescription painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants or sedatives, according to results of a federal survey released Thursday. The prevalent use of these drugs could help explain why millions of Americans end up misusing or abusing them. Last year, for the first time, the government's National Survey on Drug Use decided to ask the people it interviewed about all uses of prescription medicines, not just inappropriate use. The survey found that 119 million Americans over the age of 12 took prescription psychotherapeutic drugs. That's 45 percent of the population. (Harris, 9/8)
In other news on the opioid crisis —
St. Louis Public Radio:
How Will Federal Opioid Addiction Funding Help The St. Louis Area?
Federal dollars for the prevention of overdose deaths caused by opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers are being sent to St. Louis area counties in both Missouri and Illinois. Each state also received one additional federal grant aimed at fighting the national opioid crisis. One will help the Missouri Department of Health better track opioid overdoses. The other will increase access to medication-assisted addiction treatment in Illinois, but the Metro East won’t benefit from that grant. (Phillips, 9/8)
Former Doctor Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter In 2013 Overdose Deaths
A former pain doctor facing manslaughter charges over the 2013 overdose deaths of two Palm Beach County patients reached a plea deal Thursday. John Christensen — who had offices in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Daytona Beach — pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to traffic oxycodone. He faces up to five years in prison, under the terms of the plea, according to the State Attorney's Office. Christensen also agreed to never practice medicine again. (Reid, 9/8)