Chronic Pain — 11 September 2013

By Richard Lenti

Over half of the prescription pain relievers used illicitly in 2012 were obtained from a friend or relative for free, according to a new federal survey of drug use in the United States. Even the painkillers that were bought were twice as likely to be purchased from a friend or relative than a drug dealer.

The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also found that binge drinking and the illegal use of prescription drugs by young Americans continues to decline, but the use of marijuana and heroin is increasing.

“These findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation,” said Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA administrator.

While the rate (5.3%) of nonmedical use of prescription drugs by young adults aged 18 to 25 was similar to rates in 2010 and 2011, it was lower than in 2009 (6.4%). Binge drinking among teens was also down.

Still, the government reports that nearly one in ten teens admitted using an illicit drug during the month prior to being surveyed. And drug diversion remains a serious problem, especially with pain relievers.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Richard Lenti

Richard Lenti has worked as a news writer for the last 20 years at various television stations in Los Angeles. He is a Golden Mike winner and a graduate of California State University, Fresno. With roots in print journalism, Richard is excited to be “published” once again; having people read his work as opposed to having it read to them. As a freelance writer his work has appeared in the Easy Reader, L.A. Jazz Scene, Irrigation and Green Industry, and the KCAL 9 Online website.

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