Experts say the abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise in Indiana – this after an IU Center for Health Policy report indicated in 2010 that 55 percent of Americans over the age of 12 who have used pain relievers were given them from a relative or friend. The report also says that more than one million Hoosiers over the age of 12 admitted to misusing prescription drugs at least once in their lives – a startling 21 percent.
According to Fairbanks Medical Director Dr. Tim Kelly, addiction treatment centers nationwide are also seeing upwards of a 500 percent increase in the number of reported motor vehicle accidents that have been linked to prescription drug abuse.
Fairbanks Adult Services Manager Tobyn Linton says there are two types of abusers, and these individuals have been keeping the drug treatment centers busier than ever.
“It generally falls into two populations of users,” Linton explained. “One is the recreational drug user – individuals who are younger – and the other group of individuals who truly start out with an acute pain-type situation.”
Kelly explained that some of the commonly-abused drugs include hydrocodone, oxycodone, xanax, and valium. He says many patients actually start out with medical conditions or even anxiety issues which require painkillers or other drugs. Unfortunately, an addiction begins to develop and they find it hard to stop taking the drugs.