Calling prescription drug abuse and addiction a growing national epidemic, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) issued the following statement today after the release of the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
"It is deeply troubling to me that illicit drug usage continues at alarmingly high levels across America, especially among our children, teens and young adults. We need to ramp up our efforts to combat this serious and growing problem. Today, we continue to see more and more young people choosing powerful, dangerous and addictive prescription medications as their drug of choice. Tragically, these seemingly harmless medications many times cause overdose and even death. As a nation, we must make a firm commitment to reverse this trend before more innocent lives are lost."
The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older report using illicit drugs, including non-medical use of prescription medications. This is an increase from 8.7 percent of the population in 2009 to 8.9 percent in 2010. In addition, the survey finds an estimated 1 out of every 20 young adults aged 18-25 years as well as 3% of all kids aged 12-17 years reported abusing prescription medications in the past month in 2010, similar to findings in 2009.
The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health surveys is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey is the primary source of information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco United States aged 12 years old or older. The full survey findings can be found here: http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k10NSDUH/2k10Results.pdf