Addiction by Prescription
Prescription drug abuse has already reached epidemic proportions in the US – and other countries look set to follow the dangerous trend. What can drug makers do to help stem the tide?
Here in the US, prescription drug abuse is sweeping the nation. In 2012, an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,700 new users per day, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Prescription drug abuse is the non-medical use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited.
In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million or 9.4 percent of the American population aged 12 or older were illicit drug users. Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug with 19.8 million users (more than heroin and cocaine combined). Non-medical use of prescription drugs is the second largest category of abused drugs at 6.5 million users or 2.5 percent of the population. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention classified this phenomenon as an epidemic.
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