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Utah Highest in Nation for Prescription Drug Abuse

Among prescription drugs that are commonly abused, painkillers lead the category. As with other drugs, the usage varies from age range as well as by state.

According to an article by the Associated Press (AP), a federal study of painkiller abuse found that Utah led the nation in 2004 and 2005. The study was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and it was found that approximately 6.5 percent of Utah’s population 12 and over used prescription drugs non-medically (without a prescription). Among the age groups, the largest percentage of abusers was between 18 and 25, which is typical of most drugs.

People abusing prescription drugs often get them from a friend or relative’s prescription, or participate in what is known as ‘doctor shopping’, which is going from one doctor to another with the same complaint to receive several prescriptions.

It has also been found, especially with narcotic painkillers such as Vicodin, Lortab, Oxycontin, etc. that there continues to be a growing illicit market for such drugs.

On our toll-free help lines, we get calls nearly every day from all over the country of people trying to break free from an addiction to painkillers, many of them starting with a legitimate prescription for an accident or injury.

The problem is that these drugs are so addictive that even some very well-intended people wind up becoming physically dependent on such substances. From there it can develop into a full-blown addiction, complete with all of the “normal” drug-seeking behavior and their world begins to crash down upon them.

Do you know of someone who wound up dependent on prescription painkillers? If so, how did it start for them?

Article by Eric

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