Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

How Common Is Prescription Overmedication?

How Common Is Prescription Overmedication?Prescription drug abuse is a major issue as more and more people are becoming addicted to these medications. Many patients are prescribed different kinds of medications at the same time. As the pills keep coming, many patients either become addicted to their medications, or they are stuck with bottles that are filled with pills they no longer use.

For example, each year, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) performs National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. In 2011 alone, they collected 276 tons of prescription medication not being used. Many of these drugs were among the top 5 most prescribed medications in the IMS Institute Report entitled The Use Of Medicines in The United States: Review of 2010. There drugs are as follows:

  • Amlodipine Besylate—blood pressure medication, and they collected 57.2 million prescriptions
  • Levothyroxine Sodium—thyroid medication, 70.5 million prescriptions
  • Lisinopril—blood pressure medication, 87.4 million prescriptions
  • Simvastatin—cholesterol medication, 94.1 million prescriptions
  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen—painkillers, 131.2 million prescriptions

These numbers give us a great deal of information in regards to not only what kinds of health problems Americans face, but also how many Americans are currently prescribed these medications. The majority of these medications are for blood pressure or cholesterol problems, leading many to think that the older generation makes up the majority of these numbers. However, over 74 million more prescriptions have been written for hydrocodone/acetaminophen, a highly addictive and powerful opioid medication. According to the United States census, the current United States population is roughly 314 million people which means that there has been more prescriptions written in the United States in 2011 than there were people born.

The commonality of prescription overmedication is prevalent through these numbers. It shows that prescriptions are being written faster than babies are being born. As this is the case, one can only imagine the average amount of prescriptions each person has in a medicine cabinet. The availability of prescription medication has promoted addiction and substance abuse while it helps alleviate major health problems. Prescription overmedication is a double-edged sword, as some people require a number of different medications, while others work the system to obtain the kinds of drugs they have become hooked to.

Help with Prescription Overmedication

Please call us right now for help with your questions and concerns. Our helpline is toll free and available to you 24 hours a day. Do not wait to get help. Call us now and begin recovery today.

banner ad