Friday, September 11, 2009
In the last decade prescription drug abuse has been on the rise, more people have become addicted to pills than any other substance. The flood of new drugs on the market in the way of sedatives, opiates, and stimulants is staggering. Fortunately, a federal drug survey found that less people abused prescription drugs last year than the year before that. This dip in the abuse of prescription drugs is being attributed to the education and information out there with respect to the dangers of pharmaceuticals. According to Eric Broderick, the acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "People who once saw little risk in abusing prescription drugs are responding to health reports underscoring dangers of misuse".
It has also been reported that methamphetamine use also dropped in 2008 which is probably due to serious Meth education campaigns across the country, like the Montana Meth Project. The government has also made it very hard for Meth labs to operate in the states due to a crack down on the ease in which people can get ephedrine, the main ingredient in the cooking process. The Montana Meth Project reports that, "two years after launching the Meth Project in Montana, adult Meth use has declined by 72% and Meth-related crime has decreased 62%. Unfortunately, illicit drug use in the United States overall has not faltered and people still continue to take the risk. People used just as many drugs overall in 2007 as they did in 2008, "the drops in methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse were offset by increases among some age groups of marijuana and hallucinogen use, according to the survey of 67,500 people age 12 and older. Illegal drug use among people 50 to 59 increased from 2.7% in 2002 to 4.6% in 2008, a trend the report attributes to drug-using baby boomers who are getting older".
That survey concluded that 8% of the population, which equates to about 20.1 million Americans, used an illicit drug in the past month which was no different than 2007. Marijuana is still the number one abused drug in the United States due to it accessibility, being that it is heavily grown all over the U.S. It is also the drug that is considered to due the least amount of damage - which studies have proven that idea is not warranted. Many states are attempting to make Marijuana 100% legal and California is at the forefront of the campaign. It is great that the negative side-effects are being disclosed regarding prescription drugs, but we clearly still have an epidemic on our hands. The prescription drugs that adults consume trickles down to our children, people rarely lock their medicine cabinet which keeps the drugs within reach.