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Painkiller Use Tops Tobacco in US: Feds

Image: Painkiller Use Tops Tobacco in US: Feds

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By    |   Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 03:01 PM

Prescription painkillers are more widely used than tobacco products, says a new study, which also points to a growing trend of pain meds abuse.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveals that 37.8 percent of U.S. adults used prescription painkillers over the last year, compared to 31.1 percent who used tobacco products, including cigarettes. 

And while tobacco use has declined by more than 2.8 million users since 2014, the study found that painkiller use is on the rise.

According to the 2015 NSDUH, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 91.8 million Americans (aged 18 and older) used prescription painkillers last year, while 75.4 million used tobacco products; when children aged 12 and older are included, those numbers rise to 97.5 million and 78.3 million, respectively. And more than 12.5 percent of those users admitted to misusing the painkillers.

Another disturbing trend: In 2014, 27.0 million people aged 12 or older had reported using an illicit drug (10.2 percent). This percentage in 2014 was higher than those in every year from 2002 through 2013.

Although nonmedical pain reliever use continued to be the second most common type of illicit drug use in 2014, the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of pain relievers (1.6 percent) was lower than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2012.

The 2014 NSDUH estimated 66.9 million people aged 12 or older were tobacco users.

Across all age groups, tobacco use and cigarette use were lower in 2014 than in most years from 2002 to 2013.

The 2014 NSDUH found that 10.3 million Americans engaged in nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers. The findings suggest an increase of more than 2.1 million people who are not using pain medications as intended.

Nearly 12.5 million Americans aged 12 and older misused prescription painkillers within the past year, including 2.1 million who did so for the first time. Of the estimated 2.7 million Americans who currently have a prescription drug use disorder, three-quarters of them, over 2 million, have a pain reliever use disorder.

The NSDUH is a survey conducted annually with approximately 70,000 randomly selected individuals aged 12 and older, to provide data on the use of tobacco products, alcohol, drugs (including nonmedical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States.
 

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Prescription painkillers are more widely used than tobacco products, says a new study, which also points to a growing trend of pain meds abuse.
cigarettes, painkillers, drugs
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2016-01-15
Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 03:01 PM
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