The Prevalence of Prescription Drug Abuse

There is a reason the Opioid Crisis is garnering much attention these days from activist groups and lawmakers alike. The prescription drug problem is a very significant and prevalent issue that many Americans are facing. Approximately 18 million Americans improperly abused prescription drugs in the year 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The disturbing fact about this type of drug abuse is how innocently it can start out. Even the most unsuspecting can find themselves in a situation where they never thought they’d be. It is very easy for an individual recovering from surgery or a person who injured themselves in a normal daily task to find themselves prescribed prescription painkillers. Then, before they realize, they are needing the pills and are addicted to these highly intoxicating substances.

The Beginnings of Abuse

The Prevalence of Prescription Drug Abuse

Some individuals are predisposed to addiction. Experts believe that addiction is, at least partially, genetic. Doctors at the Montefiore Medical Center of New York have found that it is highly likely for those who have a family history of addictive behaviors to be far more sensitive to addiction themselves. For this reason, if you have a family member that has struggled, it is in all likelihood that you could have the same issues.

Scientists are studying the genetic component of addiction. While there may never be one single gene that is found that directly causes addiction, it is important to understand that this sickness is a comprehensive and complex issue. Your heredity background, as well as influences in your environment, can all play a part in addiction manifestation.

Additionally, other factors can have a significant relation to one’s disposition for engaging in risky to unhealthy behaviors which can lead to addiction. Childhood trauma, like sexual or physical abuse, can lead to addiction. Even the loss of a close family member may cause one to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

Mental disease is another factor that can have a strong link to abuse. When people are suffering mentally, the may often feel the only way for relief is self-medication. The use of drugs or alcohol to accomplish this is a slippery road and can easily turn into an addiction.


Another important factor in the opioid phenomenon that is a leading contributor to the problem is the ability for individuals to easily have access to these drugs. Because of this, the rates of overdose are much higher for these prescriptions than they are for illegal substances. People admitted to a treatment program for the use of painkillers actually increased by an astounding 400% from 1998 to 2008.

Finding a Treatment Center

Discovery Place is a tremendous place to find resources to help you overcome and heal from your addiction. The 12-Step program offered incorporates medical care and integrated health approaches at a cost that is one of the most affordable in the country. Our residential component in addition to our long-term care program provides guidance and support from start to finish and beyond. We are here to help you be successful. Call us at 1-800-725-0922 for more information about our programs.  

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