Number of Prescription Drug Abusers in the US in 2009

16 million people in the United States, or 6.4 percent of the population, abused prescription drugs in 2009.

The abuse of tranquilizers, pain relievers, and sedatives were up from the 15.2 million who abused the drugs in 2008.

By comparison, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board found that 4.8 million Americans abused cocaine in 2009.

(More prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source: “‘Prescription drugs a bigger threat than cocaine’: UN survey reveals 16 million Americans abuse over the counter medicine,” Daily Mail, March 2, 2011.