The abuse of painkillers is growing at a rapid pace.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the second most common drug addiction in the United States. The painkiller abuse statistics have been on a steady rise since the 1980s. The statistics indicate that teens are the group that are abusing these drugs the most, but people of all ages, ethnicity, and race are affected. With the rise in painkiller addiction also comes the rise in the number of addictions and deaths due to the abuse.
For nearly 30 million Americans who suffer from some chronic pain or a surgery, these people are taking their prescriptions accordingly and they seem to help improve their quality of life. But with the rise in prescription painkillers being used, there is a definite increase in health risk and incidents of painkiller addiction and abuse.
A Look at Painkiller Facts
Here are a few interesting and scary facts about prescription pain killers:
In the prescription drug family, painkillers are the most commonly abused.
By 1991 there were over 40 million different prescriptions for painkillers. In just ten years there were 180 million painkiller prescriptions nationwide.
Over 2 million people start using painkillers every year.
Americans are the world’s largest consumers of painkillers. The United States uses 71% of the world’s Oxycodone and 99% of the world’s Hydrocodone or Vicodin.
The most painkiller abuse and the greatest increases in abuse are young adults between 18 to 25.
Admissions to treatment programs for people abusing painkillers increased 321%.
Emergency room visits due to painkiller abuse rose 153%.
Deaths due to painkiller abuse increased by 160%.
Painkiller abuse is causing more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.
The media and researchers are placing a great deal of attention on the abuse of painkillers among teens. This problem is second only to marijuana use among teens. Teens are not the only group that is at risk for painkiller abuse. Elderly Americans and women are also at an increased risk for abuse.
- 1 in 5 teens get high from painkillers
- Over 2 million teens report abusing prescription drugs.
- Over 2,500 teens abuse prescription drugs for the first time in their lives each day.
- Since painkillers are more socially acceptable than street drugs, women and teen girls are more likely to use them over men and teen boys.
- Women are more likely to use painkillers to get a perceived release from their problems, as men abuse drugs for the feelings of pleasure.
- Many experts predict that prescription drug abuse in older adults will increase by 190% by 2020.
The most commonly abused painkillers vary by region. Hydrocodone is one of the most commonly abused painkillers and Oxycodone is another very common abused painkiller. They are designed to be long lasting, but they are often crushed to get all of the drug at once. This is very dangerous as this can lead to a fatal overdose. Even though these are the most commonly abused, people are abusing a number of painkillers that are easy for them to receive. Painkillers can take many forms, but most of them come as a pill. Most addicts will modify them for their use and they can be available as pills, powders, liquids, or suppositories.
A Synthetic opioid often used with acetaminophen is hydrocodone. Some of its brand names are Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet.
Another synthetic opioid is oxycodone. It is most often crushed and snorted. Its brand names are Tylox, OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. Some of the street names is Oxy 80s, Oxycotton, Oxycet, Hillbilly Heroin, and Percs.
A common source for many painkillers is opium. Opium comes from the opium poppy and was used historically as a painkiller. Opium is addictive and commonly abused so new drugs were invented to replace it. Opium is still abused by people who are addicted to painkillers, and is either smoked or ingested. Some of the street names are Paregoric, Big O, Black Staff, Block, Gum, and Hop.
Codeine is derived from opium and is a painkiller. It can be injected or ingested. There are many medicines that contain codeine. Some of these include Empirin, Fiorinal, Robitussin A-C, and Tylenol. Some of the common street names are Captain Cody, Cody, Schoolboy, Doors and fours, Loads, and Pancakes and syrup.
Another painkiller made from opium is morphine. It is often injected, ingested, or smoked. A couple of the brand names are Roxanol and Duramorph. Some of the street terms are M, Miss Emma, Monkey, and White Stuff.
Sold as brand names like Actiq and Duragesic, Fentanyl is another synthetic opioid. It is snorted, smoked, and injected. Fentanyl has many street names, such as Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, and TNT.
Narconon specializes in helping those struggling with prescription addiction and addiction to other drugs. For more information on painkillers contact call 800-468-6933.
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