A new study shows that prescription pharmaceutical drugs cause more overdoses and deaths than all illegal drugs on the market combined. The government’s own statistics, listed on the CDC website, asserts that deaths related to pharmaceutical drugs rose by about 23,000 last year alone, which accounts for half the total overdose deaths for that period of time.
Another recent study conducted at the Universities of Virginia and Arkansas, as well as with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, found that:
“Teens need help before they reach these tipping points for prescription drug abuse. Adults spotting teens with very high levels of anxiety and at least moderate use of other restricted substances should realize that these are students with a high likelihood of prescription abuse. Male teens with a high need to be popular and teens in general appear to be at exceptional risk. Campaigns must target parents as well, since they clearly underestimate both the physical risks of prescription drugs and the likelihood that their children will abuse these drugs.”
The study notes that teens often first encounter these drugs to treat the high stress environment created by schools and our culture. These students are prescribed drugs to cope with stress, as well as amphetamines like Adderall or tranquilizers like Xanax.
Another study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlighted this phenomena, pointing out that:
“Prescription drugs are seen as blessed by a trusted institution, the FDA, while increasingly aggressive advertising by drug companies simultaneously floods parents and children with messages that these substances are safe, popular, and beneficial.”