Prescription Drug Abuse – An Alarming Health Threat to Americans

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention classifies prescription drug or medicine abuse as a severe epidemic. Whilst there has a been a steep reduction in the use of certain illicit drugs such as cocaine, but the stats from NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) indicate that around 1/3rd of individuals aged 12 and above who had use drugs for the very first time in the year 2009 began so by a prescription medication.
prescription-drug-abuseA few people, who tend to abuse prescription medications, especially teens consider that these substances are safe compared to illegal drugs, as healthcare experts prescribe these. Tackling this epidemic is not just a priority when it comes to public health, but will also assist in building stronger communities and allow the sufferers to live a healthy life.


  • Supervising: There is need for implement monitoring programs for prescription drugs in all the states of the country.
  • Enforcement: The law enforcement should be provided with tools, which are essential for eliminating inappropriate practices of prescriptions.
  • Proper Disposal Of Medications: There is a dire need to develop environmentally and convenient prescription drug disposal techniques for curbing the supply of non-used prescription medications in home.
  • Education: One of the vital steps to tackle the issue of prescription medication abuse is educating the patients, youth and parents about the perils of abusing prescription medicines, whilst providing proper education to the prescribes to advise safe and proper use of medicines and storage ways.

What I Can Do?

As prescription medications are licit, these are easily available. Here, governmental institutions, medical communities, healthcare professionals, law enforcement and parents have a huge role to play in decreasing the abuse of prescription drugs. Below listed are few things that you may do for reducing prescription drug abuse.

  • Follow Proper Disposal Norms: Irrespective of your profession or age, you may help to address this crucial issue in your surroundings as well as in your home. By sticking to the norms, you curb the perils of harm or suffering that might arise from the abuse of prescription drugs. Learn about proper disposal of unused drugs, understand about drug poisoning, go through the FAQs or frequently asked questions pertaining to this subject, etc. In fact, gather as much as information possible in this regard.
  • Discuss With The Kids: It is very imperative to educate the kids about abuse and use of prescription medications for safety measures. To get tips on how to converse about this topic with your kids, you can refer to healthcare guides and professionals.
  • Take The Benefits Of Community Programs: Call up your county or city government’s recycling and household trash center or the local sheriff department to check out if they run any community program in this regard.
  • Seek For Treatment And Offer Morale To Those On Recovery Path: If a near one requires assistance to get out from the clutches of prescription drug abuse, then help him/her find a nearby treatment institution or help center. Recovery and treatment services can help a person to come out from the grip of drug abuse thus; it is helpful to resort to such services.

Government agencies are striving hard to come up with more and more support and help centers to aid people stuck in prescription drug abuse. So, I would say that there should not be any excuse to avoid these.