Studies Show Mixed Results Regarding Painkiller Abuse

prescription painkillersA recent examination of prescription narcotic abuse from 2004 to 2013 shows that overall use is slightly down, a message that brings a lot of hope for many people. The study was authored by Dr. Beth Han, a statistician with the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the U.S. Substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration.

Unfortunately, the information also revealed that although the number of users had declined, that those who still abused the drugs where using higher quantities and were at greater risk for overdose. The findings were published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Also in the same issue, another study noted that there still only about 20 percent of painkiller addicts actually seek out or receive treatment.

Another report showed that the mortality rate for prescription opioid use in 2003 was 4.5 out of every 100,000 people, but that number jumped to 7.8 just a decade later. This indicates an increase of nearly 75% in the number of deaths attributed to these drugs.

While we certainly don’t want to rain on any parade regarding the good news about the overall number of people abusing prescription painkillers, it is vitally important not to forget these other statistics when addressing the problem.

The fact that more people are dying from these drugs clearly points to the need for more interventions. The majority of the families we help with interventions now are dealing with prescription painkiller or other opiate addictions. Contact us today if you have a loved one addicted to these drugs.

Mike Loverde

With firsthand experience with addiction, Mike Loverde is now a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), as accredited by the Association of Intervention Specialists and the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He founded Family First Intervention in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of families find intervention and addiction rehabilitation solutions.

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