Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs that contain controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are essential for the effective treatment of a wide range of serious medical conditions. CDS prescription drugs include opioid pain relievers like oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) and methadone prescribed for pain; anti-anxiety and sedative medications like alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium); and stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. For many patients, the availability of these drugs often means the difference between a life of relative normalcy and one of unbearable pain and suffering. Over the past two decades, the recognition that pain itself, and in particular chronic, unrelenting pain, can have severely detrimental effects on the health and welfare of patients has led to greater clinical use of CDS prescription drugs in an attempt to effectively treat a variety of painful conditions. Between 1997 and 2007, the use of prescription opioids in the U.S. rose from 74 mg/person to 369 mg/person, an increase of 402%.
For more information about prescription drug abuse, please see the Links section.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-PM-BX-0011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.