According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, out of 638 autopsies performed in 2008, 543 of those involved prescription drugs. Only 95 of the autopsies involved illicit drugs. Nationwide, 11,000 people die annually from prescription drug abuse. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 16 million people in the United States had used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in 2009. The common perception that prescription drugs are somehow “safer” than illicit drugs is misguided. Using prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal. Some of the types of drugs abused are opioid like hydrocodone and oxycodon, central nervous system depressants like diazepam, and stimulants like amphetamines. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, extended use of opioids and central nervous system depressants can lead to addiction and other problems such as drowsiness and seriously slow down respiration to dangerous levels. Stimulants like amphetamines can cause seizures.
Prescription drugs are fairly easy for users to obtain. Most users get them from a friend or a family member who has been prescribed them. Sometimes the drugs are purchased, other times they are stolen. If you know someone who is abusing prescription drugs, perhaps it is time to seek out help. Our website has a more resources on where you can get help for prescription drug abuse in Georgia.
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