Opioids second only to marijuana in illicit drug abuse rates

July 17, 2017

(HealthDay)—Abuse of prescription opioids is second only to marijuana abuse as the most common illegal drug problem in the United States, according to a report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Analysis of 2012 to 2014 national data found that 4.31 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the past year. However, nonmedical use of did decline between 2010-2012 and 2012-2014 nationally and in 13 states.

Nonmedical opioid use was most common in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, and Nevada, all with rates exceeding 5 percent. The lowest rates—less than 3.5 percent—were in Massachusetts, Vermont, Florida, Montana, and Minnesota, the report noted.

"Prescription pain relievers when used properly for their intended purpose can be of enormous benefit to patients, but their nonmedical use can lead to addiction, serious physical harm, and even death," Kana Enomoto, SAMHSA acting deputy assistant secretary, said in an agency news release. "We must educate the public on the serious health risks involved, train prescribers to recognize signs of misuse, and provide evidence-based treatment to those who need it."

Explore further: Teens who misuse pain meds are more likely to abuse drugs as adults

More information: More Information

Related Stories

Teens who misuse pain meds are more likely to abuse drugs as adults

July 27, 2016
A new University of Michigan study about substance abuse confirms why parents should properly dispose of leftover prescription opioids.

Steep rise in births to U.S. women using opioids

January 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—Over a decade, there was a nearly fivefold increase in the number of babies born each year to American women who have used opioids, a federal government report says.

Young people who abuse prescription pain meds are more likely to use other drugs later on

October 29, 2013
High school seniors who misuse prescription pain medications risk abusing other controlled substances as young adults, a new University of Michigan study indicates.

Nonmedical prescription opioid use disorders, deaths increase in the US

October 13, 2015
From 2003 to 2013, the percentage of nonmedical use of prescription opioids decreased among adults in the U.S., while the prevalence of prescription opioid use disorders, frequency of use, and related deaths increased, according ...

Rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder double in 10 years

June 22, 2016
Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, based on a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National ...

Nonmedical use of prescription drugs among young people: A growing global concern

February 2, 2017
Balancing a country's need to make prescription drugs available to those in need while simultaneously curbing nonmedical use is one of our greatest challenges, according to a perspective article just published by Silvia Martins, ...

Recommended for you

Doctors prescribe opioids at high rates to those at increased overdose risk

April 24, 2018
The number of first-time prescriptions for opioid drugs has not risen since about 2010, according to UCLA researchers. However, patients taking a class of drug known to increase the risk for overdoses were likelier to receive ...

Study: Ibuprofen, acetaminophen more effective than opioids in treating dental pain

April 17, 2018
Opioids are not among the most effective—or longest lasting—options available for relief from acute dental pain, a new examination of the results from more than 460 published studies has found.

Text messaging tool may help fight opioid epidemic

April 17, 2018
A new automated text messaging service may curb opioid abuse and reduce the likelihood of relapse while also decreasing treatment costs, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Epharmix, a ...

Marijuana-based drug gets positive review from US agency

April 17, 2018
A closely watched medicine made from the marijuana plant reduces seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy and warrants approval in the United States, health officials said Tuesday.

Post-surgical opioids can, paradoxically, lead to chronic pain

April 16, 2018
Giving opioids to animals to quell pain after surgery prolongs pain for more than three weeks and primes specialized immune cells in the spinal cord to be more reactive to pain, according to a new study by the University ...

Animal study suggests common diabetes drug may also help with nicotine withdrawal

April 5, 2018
In a mouse study, a drug that has helped millions of people around the world manage their diabetes might also help people ready to kick their nicotine habits.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.