“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 age 12 and over took prescription psychotherapeutic drugs. That’s 45 percent of the population.
Of those, about 19 million Americans didn’t follow a prescription. Most misuse involved people who acquired the drugs from friends or family. More than a third had a prescription but took those drugs excessively. And about 5 percent bought drugs from a dealer or stranger.
All told, 16 percent of all prescription drug use was actually misuse, according to the report.”
The survey results can be accessed at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR2-2015/NSDUH-FFR2-2015.htm
See related article Prescription painkillers are more widely used than tobacco, new federal study finds available at:
Source: NPR.com – September 8, 2016