SAMSA Releases New Prescription Drug Abuse Data
Here is the SAMSA's latest "State Estimates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers."
Six percent of Coloradans said they used prescription painkillers — such as Percocet or Oxycontin — for nonmedical purposes in 2010 and 2011, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That was second only to Oregon, where the rate was 6.37 percent.
How about reading the fine print? [More...]
Combined 2010 and 2011 (hereafter "2010-2011") data indicate that about 1 in 22 (4.6 percent) persons aged 12 or older nationwide reported having used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, which was lower than the rate using combined 2009 and 2010 (hereafter "2009-2010") data (4.9 percent).
There were no increases:
Changes over Time
The national rate for the total population declined between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (from 4.9 to 4.6 percent). This rate also decreased nationally among persons aged 12 to 17 (from 6.4 to 6.1 percent), and among those 18 to 25 (from 11.5 to 10.4 percent); however, the rate remained unchanged for persons aged 26 or older. Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, past year nonmedical use of pain relievers among persons aged 12 or older decreased in Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Among 12 to 17 year olds, Maryland's and Mississippi's rates decreased between these time periods (from 5.8 to 4.6 percent and from 8.5 to 6.9 percent, respectively).
Among persons aged 18 to 25, the rates of past year nonmedical use of pain relievers declined in 14 States (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia). Among persons aged 26 or older, Oklahoma's rate decreased from 5.3 to 3.9 percent. There were no other changes at the State level in any of the age groups.
The unchanged rate in adult non-medical use is for those 26 and older -- rates which are already the lowest among the age groups, between 3 and 5%.
That fewer than 5% of adults over age 26 (4.4% in Colorado) reported taking a pain killer when it wasn't medically necessary hardly seems like an epidemic.
The report concludes:
These findings suggest that efforts to reduce the nonmedical use of pain relievers have resulted in some progress, although this progress has not been uniform across all States.
Why isn't the headline "National prescription drug abuse rate declines?"
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