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Office-Based Medical Treatment and Internet Resources Are Potential Solution to Rising Painkiller Misuse Among Teens, Young Adults
Date:9/12/2007

- Treatment in private doctors' offices with FDA-approved medication could increase access to treatment for young adults dependent on opioid pain

killers-

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2006), just released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), shows that while illicit drug use has declined among teens aged 12 to 17, prescription painkiller abuse continues to rise among young adults. According to these new national statistics, an estimated 6.4 percent of young adults used prescription painkillers for nonmedical purposes in 2006, and in terms of new users, more people 12 years and older -- 2.2 million -- misused opioid painkillers for the first time than any other drug, including marijuana and cocaine.(1)

"SAMHSA's survey quantifies the depth of the public health problem we have in this country with prescription painkiller misuse," said Mark Menestrina, MD, Medical Director of Brighton Hospital Detox Unit, Brighton, MI. "Clearly there is an urgent need for public education, particularly for teens and young adults, about the dangers of experimenting and misusing prescription painkillers. Additionally, it is important for medical professionals to provide those who have become dependent on opioids with all available treatment options, including office-based medical treatment with buprenorphine. Physicians have an obligation to their patients to provide quality care for all types of diseases, including addiction."

An estimated 5.2 million people aged 12 or older used prescription painkillers for nonmedical purposes in 2006, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005. An additional 1.6 million were classified as being physically dependent on opioid prescription painkillers. The new survey showed that the main source of these drugs was a friend or relative, for free.(2)

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SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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