Younger workers may be less prone to recreational prescription drug use
The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health said the number of people aged 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes in the past month declined 14 percent from 2 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011. The survey of nearly 70,000 people is conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
"These findings show that national efforts to address the problem of prescription drug misuse may be beginning to bear fruit and we must continue to apply this pressure to drive down this and other forms of substance use," said Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA administrator. "We must continue to promote robust prevention, treatment and recovery programs throughout our country."
The survey also showed that the nonmedical use of prescription drugs among adults aged 26 or older and children aged 12 to 17 remained unchanged from the previous year.
The survey included four categories of prescription-type drugs: pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.
Nonmedical use of the drugs was defined as use without a prescription or simply for the experience or feeling the drugs caused. For pain relievers, the rate of nonmedical use among adults aged 18 to 25 was 3.6 percent, which was lower than the rates from 2002 to 2010. The rate had ranged from 4.1 percent in 2002, up to 5.0 percent in 2006, and 4.4 percent in 2010.
Respondents also were asked where they obtained the prescription-type drugs they used for nonmedical purposes. More than half said they got them from a friend or relative for free, and said the friend or relative had obtained the drugs from one doctor.
Among those who specifically used pain relievers nonmedically, more than half said they got them from a friend or relative for free, and 12.2 percent bought them from a friend or relative -- which was higher than the 9.9 percent reported in 2008-09.
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October 22, 2012
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