Success in the Media

Emergency room visits for pharmaceutical drugs double

Crime in America.Net

Gentlepeople: The two reports below provide some perspective as to drug use in the United States. The reports deal with emergency room visits, not overall drug use.

Emergency room visits are considered a barometer of extreme drug use or use by those with limited experience with that drug.  They act as an early warning system for growing drug problems and indicate trends for the future.

Two reports are presented here and both indicate that the use or misuse of pain relievers and prescription drugs is a rapidly growing problem.

Want to put a stop to the issue of prescription drug abuse? Go home and immediately throw out all your old prescription drugs. For more information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs click here.

It’s abundantly apparent that those who are misusing them (i.e., your children and grandchildren) don’t know enough to understand the dangers.

New Data Reveal Doubling of Emergency Department Visits Involving Pharmaceutical Abuse

 According to new data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), visits by individuals to hospital emergency rooms involving the misuse or abuse of pharmaceutical drugs have doubled over the past five years and, for the third year in a row, exceed the number of visits involving illicit drugs. 

According to DAWN, which provides national estimates on individuals who experience drug-related medical emergencies that are severe enough to require treatment in an emergency department, there were approximately 1.2 million visits by individuals to hospital emergency rooms involving pharmaceutical drugs in 2009. 

This compares to about 974,000 visits involving illicit drugs in 2009. 

Additionally, while visits to emergency rooms involving illicit drugs have remained relatively stable at just under 1 million visits per year from 2004 to 2009, visits involving pharmaceutical drugs have almost doubled – increasing by 98 percent over the past five years. 

In 2009, there were approximately 1.2 million visits to emergency rooms involving pharmaceutical drugs, compared to 627,000 in 2004.  These visits do not include adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals taken as prescribed.

The Obama Administration is mounting a government-wide effort to combat prescription drug abuse

DAWN data are based on a national sample of general, non-Federal hospitals operating 24-hour emergency departments.  In each participating hospital, emergency department medical records are reviewed retrospectively to determine visits that involved recent drug use. All types of drugs—illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and non-pharmaceutical inhalants—are included.

Click here to see the full DAWN report.

Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison
Office National Drug Control Policy
Executive Office of the President

Pain Reliever Abuse-More Than a Fourfold Percentage Increase

July 28, 2010 (from Crime in America.Net)

Pain Reliever Abuse– More Than Fourfold Percentage Increase of U.S. Treatment Admissions

The percentage of admissions to state-funded substance abuse treatment programs involving pain reliever abuse increased from 2.2% in 1998 to 9.8% in 2008, according to recently released data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).

While increases were seen across all age groups, some of the largest increases occurred among adults 18 to 24 years old and 25 to 34 years old, resulting in treatment admissions for these age groups becoming the most likely to involve pain reliever abuse.

According to the authors, “early identification of pain reliever abuse, outreach to abusers, and provision of appropriate and effective treatment services, including relapse prevention, will be important for helping abusers of prescription pain relievers—and especially those in younger age groups—make long-term productive contributions to society”

Similar increases have been seen among emergency department visits involving pain relievers.




Leave a Reply