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

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

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.