While government agencies and researchers claim to be attacking the problem of addiction, more people are impacted than ever before.  Never have we seen more children on prescription drugs than we do today.  How are we teaching them to handle life?  Take a pill?  Have a drink?  What are they emulating?
Addiction to prescription pain killers is increasing in both teens and the elderly.  A government survey estimates that the number of adults age 50 and older with substance abuse problems will double to 5 million in 2010 (from 2.5 million in 1999) in part due to society’s growing acceptance of prescription drugs.
Teens find false comfort believing that prescription pain killers are safer than illegal drugs.  A recent study done by Partnership for a Drug Free America found that 29% of teens believe prescription pain relievers to be non-addictive.  An alarming number of today’s teenagers are more likely to abuse prescription and OTC’s (over the counter) medications than to abuse illegal drugs like meth, cocaine, Ecstasy etc. Nearly 1 in 5 teens (19% or 4.5 million) reported abusing prescription medications to get high, and 1 in 10 reported using cough medicine to get high.  Teens say there is easy access to these drugs through the home medicine cabinet or at a friend’s house.  This trend, called “pharming” (for pharmaceuticals), has resulted in illness, overdoses, and death.

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