WASHINGTON – A new government study finds a 400 percent increase in the number of people admitted to treatment for abusing prescription pain medication.
The increase in substance abuse among people ages 12 and older was recorded during the 10-year-period from 1998 to 2008. It spans every gender, race, ethnicity, education and employment level, and all regions of the country.
The study was released Thursday by Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House office of drug control policy. Kerlikowske says prescription drug abuse is now the second-most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the country, and the nation's fastest-growing drug problem.