Crime in America.Net
Use of Prescription Pain Relievers Remains Stable
The news on first time use of cocaine is wonderful considering the connection between cocaine and the considerable upswings in crime connected to cocaine in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
With all the publicity directed towards non-medical use of prescription drugs it’s great to see that first time use is stable.
Our concern is the use of marijuana and the dangers of marijuana use are well documented throughout this site. As the push to legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana continues, more people will use a drug sold by proponents as benign where the potency of today’s marijuana make increased use a great concern.
The number of people using marijuana for the first time increased for the third year in a row and the number of new ecstasy users increased for the second year in a row, according to estimates from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
More than 2.3 million persons ages 12 or older used marijuana for the first time in 2009, compared to 2.1 million in 2007.
Increases were also seen in the number of new ecstasy users (from 894,000 in 2008 to more 1.1 million in 2009).
While the estimated number of first-time nonmedical users of prescription-type pain relievers continues to rival that of marijuana, there have been no significant changes in the estimated number of new nonmedical users of prescription-type pain relievers in the past five years.
In contrast, the number of new cocaine users has been decreasing steadily since 2001. There were an estimated 617,000 new users of cocaine in 2009, the lowest number since 1973.
Changes in initiation levels are often leading indicators of emerging patterns of substance use. Thus, these findings suggest that:
1) Marijuana and ecstasy use may be making resurgence;
2) The growth in the misuse of prescription pain relievers may have slowed;
3) There are no signs of growth in cocaine use in this population.
SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings, 2010. Available online at http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduhLatest.htm.