- Deaths related to prescription painkiller use increased 313 percent over the past decade.1
- Of all the drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2013, a majority (almost 52%) were related to prescription drugs.2
- More people die from prescription drug overdoses than from car accidents or overdoses of street drugs such as cocaine or heroin.3
Access and Treatment
- Pharmacists dispense enough prescription painkillers every year to supply each American with a pill to take every four hours, around the clock, for a month.4
- Prescription painkiller-related treatment admission rates increased 400 percent from 2000 to 2010.1
- Admission rates for treatment of prescription drug abuse or excessive use increased every year from 2000 to 2010.1
Kids and Teens
- Among children younger than 6, prescription drugs account for about 40 percent of all exposures reported to poison centers.2
- About 1-in-5 12th graders report abusing or improperly using a prescription medicine at least once.6
- 38 percent of teens who have misused or abused prescription medicine took it from a parent’s medicine cabinet.7
- Almost half of teens who have misused or abused prescription medicine obtained it from a friend.8
- 96 percent of young adults who abuse prescription stimulants believe their friends abuse prescription stimulants as well.9
- 57 percent of young adults who abuse prescription stimulants say the last time they did so, they got the drug from a friend.9
- 28 percent of young adults who have been legally prescribed stimulants share their medicine with friends.9
- 52 percent of young adults who have been legally prescribed stimulants say they’ve been pressured by friends into selling or sharing their medicine.9
- Pharmaceutical residues have been detected in the drinking water of 24 major metropolitan areas across the country serving 46 million people.11
- “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). 2000-2010. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services, DASIS Series: S-61, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4701, Rockville, MD; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012. Accessed at Clinical Challenges in Opioid Prescribing: Balancing Safety & Efficacy, Peer Assistance Services.
- “http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/overdose/facts.html,” updated 1/9/2015.
- Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention brochure, April 2014.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): National Findings.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs. 2014.
- “The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, Teens & Parents 2013,” Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, page 18.
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org & MetLife Foundation. (2012). Partnership Attitude Tracking Study.
- “New Survey: Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Stimulants Becoming Normalized Behavior Among College Students, Young Adults,” Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 11/13/14.
- “AN AP INVESTIGATION: Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water. The Associated Press. http://www.hotsted.ap.org/specials/interactives/pharmawater_site/ Accessed on February 2, 2015.
- Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams: USGS Fact Sheet F5-027-02, June 2002. U.S. Geological Survey Website. http://www.toxics.usgs.gov/pubs/F5-027-2/ Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed February 2, 2015.