Prescription drug abuse is a global ailment, and it is particularly severe in the United States. Though drug abuse is not limited to an age bracket, the majority of adults in drug abuse rehabilitation programs report drug (or alcohol) use before the age of 17, leaving teenagers particularly vulnerable to the drug abuse crisis.
The younger population falls most susceptible to drugs due to media depictions, anxiety or depression, escapism, self-medication, performance pressure, and social influence. Understand more about the detrimental fate of prescription drug abuse, and how to combat it in your practice, by reading along below.
8 Prescription Drugs Abuse Statistics:
- More than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs in the US
- Twenty-five percent of people who misuse prescription drugs by age 13 end up with a drug addiction later in life
- More people in the US abuse prescription drugs than the combined number of people in the US who abuse cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and heroin
- Prescription drug abuse leads to more deaths than any other type of drug overdose
- Every day, 2,500 teenagers (12 to 17) in the United States cause a prescription pain reliever for the first time
- As of 2005, the average age of first-time drug users in the US is 13-14
- Prescription drug use is second only to marijuana in illicit drug use
- The US consumes about 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioid drugs (while making up only 5 percent of the total world population)
Which Prescription Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused?
The drugs most commonly abused by people the United States are separated into four categories:
- Painkillers (opioids)
Prescription opioid drugs (painkillers) are by now a famous problem plaguing, not only the United States but the entire world. While recent studies have shown a slight decline in prescription availability and problems with overdoses, opioids still account for the largest percentage of deaths caused by prescription drug abuse.
3 Prescription Drugs Abuse Facts You Should Know
- Over half of teens believe that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs. While prescription drugs might be safer in the context of knowing their contents, prescription drugs lead to more deaths than by the combined number of deaths of street drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
- Doctors are not the party to blame. In fact, in 2013, over 50 percent of painkiller abuses were sourced (for free) from a friend or relative.
- Opioids lead to heroin. Heroin has repeatedly shown to be the next drug of choice when an opioid prescription runs out or becomes too expensive.
Implementing Drug Awareness in Your Practice
Are your patients aware of the global statistics on drug abuse? If not, you can help keep them informed, healthy, and drug-free by implementing digital drug awareness programs in your practice.
Keep Patients Informed
Consider optimizing your patient portal with a mobile-friendly app, within which patients can learn and be reminded about the potential addiction to prescription drugs.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
Did you know that all 50 states have a prescription drug monitoring program, to track all in-state prescriptions? If you are not yet utilizing this program, you can get on board with your local PDMP.
Transcribe Patient Notes
Additionally, you can tailor physician-patient dialogue to uncover any addiction tendencies or developments, and analyze this data in your transcribed patient notes.
Why transcribe notes? By automating the note-taking experience, physicians can spend more quality time with patents, to uncover any developing problems, and more accurately monitor their individual progress through treatment, keeping a tactful eye on prescription dosage and duration. Additionally, digital notes can be analyzed for data surrounding prescription drug use, duration, and any attached problems.
Learn more about drug awareness, abuse, and how to avoid problems in your practice. Reach out to our incredible team at Mercedes Transcription, and get started with our transcription services, today!