The use of prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to a person is considered illicit, just like marijuana, heroin or cocaine. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007 one person died every 19 minutes in the United States from an unintentional drug overdose. Since 2003 the number of people dying from prescription drugs known as opioid analgesics is higher than all the deaths from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) also reports that prescription drug abuse appears to be highest in rural and poor communities. However, most people who use prescription drugs do not get them from their doctor, 76 percent say that they get their drugs from someone else who has been prescribed them.
According to the Florida Medical Examiner 2008 report, 4,924 people died in Florida with one or more prescription drug present in their bodies. These drugs were considered to be the cause of death, but may have been mixed with other drugs and alcohol. The Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey shows that the rates of prescription drug abuse amongst young people in Florida was higher than other illicit drugs, but lower than marijuana and inhalants. Despite the perception that prescription drugs are “safer” than illicit drugs, the truth is very different. If you or someone you know is abusing prescription drugs, please visit our website to find out more about getting help.
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