Prescription Drug Abuse Linked with Increase of Internet Access

May 16th, 2011

With the rising growth of prescription drug abuse, researchers have been trying to determine the cause. The Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Southern California recently suggested that it may in fact be related to the people’s ever-increasing access to the internet and the number of illegally operated online pharmacies found there.

One statistic noted is that in each state, a 10% rise in Internet availability went hand in hand with a 1% increase in prescription drug abuse admissions. The increases included Narcotic painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, stimulants, and sedatives.

These Internet “pharmacies” are based all over the world, selling the above-mentioned drugs without a Doctor’s prescription to Americans. They have also been known to specialize in sales of narcotic painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Percocet, which researchers claim are directly related with the national level of abuse for these drugs.

Though the research is not yet substantial to prove this theory, more time is being invested to validate these claims. As one researcher notes, “The lack of an increase in abuse of drugs not available on the Internet suggests that an overall growth in drug-seeking behavior cannot explain the rise in prescription drug abuse. Further studies need to better evaluate how easily commonly abused prescription drugs can be purchased online and explore the importance to the problem of foreign Internet pharmacies, which are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.”

For more information on prescription drugs, check out our article on the subject

Brandon Yu, Senior Managing Editor

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