St. Louis College of Pharmacy Professor Available
to Discuss Prescription Drug Abuse
Subject: Recently, u.S. officials reported a dramatic rise in prescription drug abuse. According to figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there has been a 400 percent increase over a 10-year period.
Officials said that 9.8 percent of hospital admissions for substance abuse in 2008 involved painkillers – up from 2.2 percent in 1998. Among 18 to 24 year olds, 13.7 percent were admitted because of prescription drug abuse in 2008, compared to 1.5 percent in 1998.
The report indicated that more than 50 percent of the patients acquired their drugs free from a friend or relative; nine percent purchased them from someone they knew. According to the SAMHSA, prescription drug abuse was the second most common type of drug abuse in the u.S. in 2008.
Expert: Jill Sailors, assistant professor of pharmacy practice; 314-446-8499.
Quote: “Overall, illicit drug use by youths has declined and that indicates we’re effectively communicating that street drugs like marijuana are dangerous. However, prescription drug abuse is on the rise – especially among teens and young adults. Unfortunately, finding prescription drugs is as easy as opening the medicine cabinet at home or at a friend’s house, or looking in a nightstand or someone’s purse.”
“Prescription drugs are widely available, inexpensive or even free, and are perceived as less risky than street drugs. Most adults and teens who wouldn’t touch street drugs might otherwise abuse prescription drugs due to the misperception that prescribed medications are safe.”
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in the nation. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. More than 1,200 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis region are alumni.
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