Curbing Prescription Medication Abuse Could Limit Use of Other Drugs

By Staff Writer

Individuals who begin using prescription painkillers recreationally frequently move on to other drugs such as cocaine or heroin once they have become addicted. The federal government is currently leading renewed efforts to end the abuse of medications in order to limit deaths from other drugs.

National figures show that the number of overdose death from prescription painkillers increased by more than 50 percent from the year 2000 to 2007, according to the Associated Press. During this time, the number of people who died from cocaine overdoses increased at a similar rate. Officials believe that the two phenomena are linked.

To put an end to the situation, the Obama administration recently released a comprehensive proposal to bring down the non-medical use of medications by 15 percent over the course of the next five years, the news source reports.

Experts say that individuals often get hooked on drugs after experimenting with pills. However, prescription medications can be expensive, so after a while, addicts begin looking for less expensive alternatives. This often leads to heroin and cocaine abuse and the need for treatment from rehab programs.