Bono Mack: Increase In Prescription Drug Abuse Very Alarming
Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) released the following statement on the findings that illegal and prescription drug abuse rose among the nation's population from 2008 to 2009. The new statistics of illegal drug abuse and nonmedical use of prescription drugs were released today in the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
"It is very alarming to learn that drug abuse is increasing in America, especially the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. From 2008 to 2009 the non-medical use of prescription drugs increased by 12% percent, this is a very disturbing statistic that illustrates how serious and dangerous this is to Americans and especially to our youth.
"Prescription drugs have become the drug of choice partly due to easy access--more than half of people get these drugs from family and friends. We have to work on all levels to fight this disturbing trend through education, working with law enforcement, and putting policies in place to better prevent abuse."
In June of this year, Congresswoman Bono Mack joined with Congressman Hal Rogers (KY) in launching a bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. As the Co-Chairs of the Caucus, Bono Mack and Rogers are long-time advocates for multi-tiered solutions to the ever-growing epidemic that has wrought havoc on communities large and small throughout the United States. The new Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse aims to unite like-minded policy-makers to raise awareness of abuse, and to work towards innovative and effective policy solutions incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research.
Additionally, in March Congresswoman Bono Mack and Congressman Rogers introduced the Stop Oxy Abuse Act, H.R. 4956. The Stop Oxy Abuse Act revises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classification to ensure that the drug is prescribed only for severe pain--its intended use. However, more and more people are being prescribed this drug for less severe reasons, expanding the availability and potential for abuse of this strong narcotic.