Pain Medication Abuse SoarsThe Associated Press: "A new government study finds a 400 percent increase in the number of people admitted to treatment for abusing prescription pain medication. The increase in substance abuse among people ages 12 and older was recorded during the 10-year-period from 1998 to 2008. It spans every gender, race, ethnicity, education and employment level, and all regions of the country" (7/15).
Reuters: "The dramatic jump was higher than treatment admission rates for methamphetamine abuse, which doubled, and marijuana, which increased by almost half, according to figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Abuse of prescription pain medication was the second most common type of illicit drug use in the United States in 2008, according to SAMHSA. More than 6 million Americans admitted to abusing prescription drugs in the month before they were surveyed, behind 15.2 million who said they used marijuana" (7/15).
The Christian Science Monitor: "Experts blame a lack of monitoring programs as well as Americans' increasing unwillingness to bear even small pains. The report underscores the need for regulation amid a culture that has become increasingly reliant on ever-more-powerful and addictive prescription drugs, say experts. Many of the factors that have come together to fuel this explosive problem such as the lack of effective monitoring of prescriptions not just between doctors, but between pharmacies, and from state to state have been well known for years" (Goodale, 7/15). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.