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Facts about drug abuse

Nov. 10, 2010 @ 12:01 AM

This week is National Drug Fact Week. Each day this week The Herald-Dispatch will run a different set of facts about drug abuse.

More facts about prescription drug abuse:

FACT: West Virginia leads the nation with the most written prescriptions at 18.4 per person. The national average is 11.6

FACT: W.Va. had the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation ... this attributed to the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.

FACT: One very common belief is that drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. What people often underestimate is the complexity of drug addiction -- that it is a disease that impacts the brain and because of that, stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Addiction is a treatable disease and like other chronic diseases can be managed successfully.

FACT: One in five teens (4.5 million) has abused prescription drugs.

FACT: Many parents do not consider the possibility that their unused medicines could get into the wrong hands, and many do not know how to properly dispose of old medicines. Currently, the safest disposal is to mix unused prescriptions with undesirable substances and place mixture into disposable container into the trash.

SOURCES: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 1997-2007: Admissions By Primary Substance of Abuse, 2009

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction, August 2009

Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2010). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2009 (NIH Publication No. 10-7583). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 77 pp.

2008 National Survey on Drug Use & Health: National Findings, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, September 2009

Protect teens in your community against prescription drug and alcohol abuse. For more information, contact Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership at 304-523-8929.

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