Prescription Drug Abuse Skyrocketed 430% Over Past Decade

Treatment for prescription painkiller abuse has skyrocketed 430% in the past decade, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

Federal statistics released Thursday revealed that treatment for prescription painkiller abuse has skyrocketed 430% over the last decade.

The increase is even more pronounced given that over the same time period the overall rate of substance-abuse-related admissions to rehab facilities has flatlined, according to the SAMSHA.


The rise occurred in every region of the country, but was highest in Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Arkansas, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Tylenol with codeine, Darvocet, Vicodin and Percocet ranked high on the SAMHSA’s list of most-abused prescription meds.

More and more the nation’s drug problem lies in medicine cabinets and the prescription pads of shady health practitioners, says SAMHSA.

Earlier this year, it released a report titled “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis,” which addressed the the prevalence of “pill mills” and doctor shopping as top culprits.

While fewer people are requiring treatment for heroin, cocaine and alcohol abuse, admissions related to marijuana has climbed 33 percent.

Admissions for the treatment of methamphetamine abuse spiked between 1999 and 2005 and then dropped every year but has been on the decline.

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