The Purdue University Calumet Chronicle
By Andrea Drac
April 12, 2010
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s survey the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2008 15.2 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year.
Addiction to and the abuse of prescription drugs, also known as “pill popping,” has become a national trend. According to Ivan Budisin, a psychologist at the PUC Counseling Center, pill popping has become a trend due to the fact that prescription drugs are becoming more available.
“In 1991, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse there were 40 million orders for prescription drugs sent out,” said Budisin. “In 2001, 180 million orders were sent out. It’s a huge increase.”
According to an article on the NIDA web site entitled, “Prescription Drug Abuse – Topics in Brief,” the three most commonly abused classes of prescription drugs are Opioids such as Vicodin, which are often prescribed to treat pain; Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants such as Valium, which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders; and stimulants such as Ritalin, which are prescribed to treat certain sleep disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Budisin said that prescription drug addiction is most popular among high school and college students due to easy access, either by taking their own prescription drugs for non-medicinal purposes, or taking someone else’s prescription drugs for non-medicinal purposes. Another reason for addiction has to do with cost; prescription drugs do not cost a lot of money, so it is easy to afford.
There is also a huge misconception involved in prescription drug abuse and addiction, which makes it such a huge trend.
“The misconception is that prescription drugs aren’t dangerous because a doctor gives them out,” said Budisin.
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