More Americans Die from Prescription Drug Abuse Than Cocaine and Heroin Put Together

Prescription drug abuse remains our nation’s leading drug problem. The Drug Enforcement Agency has just completed a nation-widepresecription drug abuse offensive intended to disrupt the illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals in an effort to stem the plague. Prescription drug abuse is claiming more lives than the use of Heroin and Cocaine combined.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published data which shows the overdose rates by year for these three drugs (prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine). What you see when you look at those charts is that abuse of prescription medications and heroin has gone up each year since 2001. Cocaine use peaked in 2006 but has now dropped back to rates similar to those in 2001. But prescription drug overdose claims more American lives than the total of heroin and cocaine put together, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most affected by the increases is white males. In the year 2000, older black males were the leading demographic for heroin overdose. But in 2013 young to middle aged white males were most represented. Similarly, in 1999 1.6 white males per 100,000 overdosed on prescription drugs but by 2013 the figure had grown to 6.8 white males per 100,000 who overdosed.

The overdose figures for 2013 were as follows: over 50 percent of the 43,982 overdose fatalities were prescription drug induced, 8,257 were caused by heroin and 4,944 were linked to cocaine use. Each number represents a precious life cut short. If you are engaged in illicit drug use, don’t wait to get help.

Perhaps you’ve tried to break your prescription drug abuse habit but were unsuccessful. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it – only that for breaking the abuse cycle it is important that you seek professional help. Contact us at Family Guidance Center. We can help you begin your journey to recovery.