Prescription drug use pervades America

National Center for Health Statistics shows nearly half of the adult population has used prescription drugs in the last month.

Recent information from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that nearly half of U.S. adults have taken prescription drugs within the past 30 days. The segment of the population showing the most prescription drug use was white non-Hispanic women (54 percent) and the lowest was Mexican-American men (26 percent).

The goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to make money. Drug companies are publicly-traded corporations and are not non-profit organizations. Evidence of this can be found by simply turning on the television and viewing the increasing number of commercials for prescription drugs as part of the direct-to-consumer marketing plans. U.S. revenues for the pharmaceutical industry have been estimated at $200 billion annually.

Along with the increase in overall use of prescription drugs comes the rise in abuse and addiction. A quick scan of headlines reveals the death of a high school athlete from a painkiller, the State of Massachusetts launching a prescription drug awareness media campaign and law enforcement officers from Ohio giving a seminar about spotting emerging trends in prescription drug trafficking and abuse.

Another article from the Associated Press (AP) reported that there are more estimated deaths in Maine from drug overdoses in 2005 than traffic accidents. The number of drug overdose deaths has more than doubled in the last five years, which has been primarily attributed to the use of prescription drugs.

“What many people forget,” said Gary W. Smith, executive director of Narconon Arrowhead, “is that prescription drugs have the potential to be just as harmful as street drugs, and that most of today’s illegal drugs were once marketed and sold as pharmaceuticals.”

Narconon Arrowhead is one of the nation’s largest and most successful drug rehabilitation programs and uses the effective drug-free rehabilitation methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is working with state legislatures to cut down the rising numbers of prescription drug abusers. One of the main avenues is state-level prescription drug monitoring programs, which have taken a leading role in detecting and deterring the diversion of controlled substances that are often abused. Prescription drug monitoring programs are currently in place or plan to be operational in about half of the United States this year.

For more information about prescription drugs or to get help for a loved one in need, contact Narconon Arrowhead by calling 1-800-468-6933 or visit

From the Jan. 25-31, 2006, issue

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