A new analysis released today by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) of data from the 2009 and 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicated that 68% of Americans who abuse prescription medicines obtain drugs from friends and family. Congressoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, called the findings "misleading" and released the following statement:
"While I appreciate the hard work of ONDCP, the survey doesn't completely square up with reality. Most importantly, people taking part in the illicit sale, distribution and use of powerful prescription narcotic drugs are not chronicling their illegal activities in a consumer survey -- and, also keep in mind, these criminal enterprises are commonplace and widespread. It's a huge mistake to brush this off as a problem primarily connected to people sneaking into "granny's medicine cabinet.'
"In fact, when the DEA's joint strike force raided a large number of so-called "pill mills' in Florida last year, they confiscated nearly half a million prescription pills destined for sale on the street. These sales don't turn up in surveys. That's why it's critically important to continue attacking this problem on multiple fronts. I do agree, however, that doctors overprescribe painkillers, addicts doctor shop to get them, and a national strategy is needed to combat this growing and serious health epidemic. Simply put, we need to deal with this problem aggressively, long before the pills begin to pile up in granny's medicine cabinet."