Substance abuse has been a problem in the United States for some time now and probably will be for some time.  This is not an issue that is likely to go away any time soon.  Not to mention that major work and changes will have to be done and made if real and positive change is to be had.

In recent news, drug use in Hollywood is once again under a microscope and immensely close scrutiny amid a new lawsuit that claims that infamous actor and well-liked individual, Jim Carrey, used what the plaintiff said were his, “immense wealth and celebrity status,” to actually illegally obtain and distribute potentially very, very deadly substances to his at the time girlfriend Cathriona White, who sadly recently died of a suicidal overdose at the age of just 30 last year.

When will this prescription drug abuse crisis end?  Seemingly never.  It certainly does keep coming up in the media time and time again with really no sign or idea at the possibility of it getting any better any time soon.  Now, prescription drug abuse granted is not a new crisis by any means at all.  In fact, 2001 saw some of the worst prescription drug abuse issues to date and things have only gotten worse since then.  In truth, there seems to be no end to these crisis issues and problems.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Just the Facts

Without even examining the media and the highlights that are brought down upon the horrors of current prescription drug abuse and addiction, it is very plain to see that substance abuse and addiction in general in the United States today is deadly and serious to say the least, and especially with women.  All one has to do is examine statistics brought forth by organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Trust for American Health (TAH) to see how dangerous this crisis is.  For example:

• According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) illicit drug use in the United States has risen to its highest level in eight years in fact.  The NSDUH found that 8.7 percent of Americans aged 12 and older used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey, a nine percent rise from the 2008 rate, and a three-hundred percent rise from the 1988 rate.

• The survey also highlighted the increase in prescription drug abuse and methamphetamine and ecstasy use too.  Abuse of prescription drugs rose by no less than 12 percent, and abuse of methamphetamine and ecstasy both rose by about one percent.

• About 18 women die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US, with more than 6,600 deaths in the year of 2010 alone.  Every 3 minutes in fact, a woman goes to the emergency room for prescription painkiller misuse or abuse of some kind or another.

• Nearly 48,000 women died of prescription painkiller overdoses between 1999 and 2010, which is more than any grouping of woman who died of any kind of substance abuse issue in any other decade ever.

• Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses among women have increased by a full 400% at the very least since 1999, compared to an only 265% among men.  Women are being targeted for prescription painkillers, and they are dying from them.

• Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription painkillers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men are.  Because of the extent of health issues and troubles that women can have, they are targeted more voraciously to be put on prescription drugs than men are.

• In the year of 2013, 22.3% of full-time college students of the age of 18 to 22 were currently using illicit drugs and 59.4% were current drinkers of alcohol.  The overall rate of the current non-medical use of prescription-type drugs amongst college students is about five percent of them.

Addressing the Crisis

All of the hype of celebrity addiction aside, anyone who is addicted to anything (celebrities included) can be freed from that addiction with inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations.  These centers truly more than anything else are the key to conquering addiction for anyone who suffers from such a habit.  Especially with the fact that prescription drug abuse is now the single most concerning addiction issue in the nation, those addiction issues really do need to be addressed and they need to be addressed now more so than ever.  Rehabilitation is the key, and only with rehabilitation will the nation’s addicted and afflicted be able to know freedom.

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