Growing national epidemic of prescription drug abuse & deaths

A 2005 report by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) documented the problem. “This report revealed that our nation is in the throes of a growing epidemic of controlled prescription drug abuse involving opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin, depressants like Valium and Xanax, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall,” Joseph A. Califano, Jr. CASA Chairman and President, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007.

Jeanna Bryner,  Senior Writer
Live Science
July 29, 2009

News of Michael Jackson’s death and the possible link to prescription drugs is the latest high-profile example of a growing national problem, as misuse of pharmaceuticals has risen at an alarming rate, touching the lives not just of celebrities but of a large number of non-celebrities, including teenagers.

The abuse of certain prescription drugs nearly doubled from 2000 to 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Some health officials are calling the rise in the misuse of prescription drugs an epidemic.

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