Prescription Drug Abuse News

News about prescription drug abuse. News sources about the abuse of prescription drugs is collected from public sources such as news articles, government reports, drug rehabilitation programs, and other public health programs.

See key security threats and facts at our main prescription drug abuse page.

Between 2004 and 2005, state records in the US State of Wyoming reported 5 people dying from accidental overdose of prescription drugs. In 2006 to 2007, the number of deaths increased to 28. The deaths continued to increase every year, with 45 deaths between 2008 to 2009, and 69 deaths between 2010 and 2011.

By comparison, the state had 3 reported deaths in 2010 to 2011 from illicit drugs.

(Illegal drug prices and other crimes in the United States.)

Source:  Megan Cassidy, “Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Wyoming,” Billings Gazette, September 2, 2012.

In 2000, there were 29 babies who were born addicted to prescription drugs in the US State of Kentucky. In 2011, there were 730 babies born addicted to the drugs. The 2,400 percent increase in the state is higher than the national increase of 330 percent during the 9 year period.

(More prescription drug abuse statistics.)

It was previously reported that one baby is born every hour in the United States addicted to prescription drugs due to the mother abusing the pills during pregnancy.

Source:  Lara Unger, “Kentucky sees surge in addicted infants,” USA Today, August 26, 2012.

In the US State of New Mexico, the rate of overdose deaths in the state increased over 60 deaths between the years 2001 and 2010. Health officials believe that the increase in overdose drug deaths is caused by prescription pain killers, whose sales during the same time period increased by 131 percent. The state reported that the number of deaths from overdosing on prescription drugs is higher than the number of deaths from overdosing on illegal drugs.

In a November 2011 report by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico has the highest overall drug overdose death rate in the United States.

Source:  Dan Frosch, “Prescription Drug Overdoses Plague New Mexico,” New York Times, June 8, 2012.


United States citizens consume 80 percent of the world’s entire supply of prescription pain relief pills, a total of over 110 tons of opiates.

The abuse of prescription drugs in the United States leads to 14,800 deaths each year, a death toll higher than the number of deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.

Source:  Michael Zennie, “Americans consume EIGHTY percent of the world’s pain pills as prescription drug abuse epidemic explodes,” Daily Mail, May 10, 2012.

A 2012 report by the Partnership at Drug stated that 1.5 million teenagers in the United States smoked marijuana at least 20 times or more every month. The number of teens using marijuana increased by 80 percent from the organization’s previous report in 2008.

10 percent of teenagers also reported to abusing prescription pain reliever drugs, down from the 14 percent usage rate in 2010.

(Price of marijuana per gram.)

Source:  “Report: Frequent marijuana smoking up 80 percent among teens,” CBS News, Health Pop, May 2, 2012.

A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that a baby is born every hour in the United States with withdrawal symptoms from opiates due to the mother being addicted and abusing opiate drugs during the pregnancy.

The 13,500 babies born with the withdrawal symptoms are hospitalized for several weeks as the doctors treat them with morphine or methadone to get them off of the addiction.

(All prescription drug abuse information.)

Source:  Pam Belluck, “Abuse of Opiates Soars in Pregnant Women,” New York Times, April 30, 2012.

A report by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration released in April 2012 stated that 7 million Americans were abusing prescription drugs. 75 percent of all drug overdose deaths in the United States involved prescription drugs, and three out of every four overdose deaths involved opioid pain revilers.

The report also found that 55 percent of prescription drug abusers who use pain relievers got them for free from friends and family, while 11 percent bought them from friends and family and 5 percent simply took them from friends and family.

Source:  David Morgan, “Prescription drug abuse abetted by family, friends: study,” Reuters, April 25, 2012.

State officials in the India state of Punjab estimate that over 50 percent of the state’s citizens between the age of 18 to 35 abuse illegal drugs on a regular basis. The drug users abuse various types of drugs, ranging from heroin to prescription drugs.

In comparison, the world’s rate of illegal drug abuse is 4.8 percent for people ages 18 to 65, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

(More substance abuse statistics.)

Source:  Sara Sidner and Harmeet Shah Singh, “Heroin horror stalks India’s most remote villages,” CNN, March 8, 2012.

A single prescription drug abuser who shops around for doctors who will prescribe drugs to them costs insurance companies in the United States between $10,000 to $15,000 per person.

The financial impact to the criminal justice system due to prescription drug abuse is reported to be $8.2 Billion.

The overall impact to insurance companies due to prescription drug abuse is estimated to be over $70 Billion a year.

(Information on prescription drug abuse.)

Source:  James O’Toole, “How prescription drug abuse costs you money,” CNN, February 24, 2012.

On some First Nation reserves in Canada, over 50 percent of the adults living there are estimated to be addicted to OxyContin.

(See more prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source: Kristy Kirkup, “Black market for addictive pain meds difficult to stop: RCMP ,” Toronto Sun, February 23, 2012.