Estimated Misuse of Prescription Drugs and Pain Relievers in the US
"About 1.0 percent of people aged 12 or older (2.7 million) had a prescription drug use disorder in the past year, including 2.0 million people with a pain reliever use disorder, 688,000 with a tranquilizer use disorder, 426,000 with a stimulant use disorder, and 154,000 with a sedative use disorder. In 2015, as part of their most recent substance use treatment, 822,000 people received treatment for the misuse of pain relievers, 293,000 people received treatment for tranquilizer misuse, 139,000 received treatment for stimulant misuse, and 116,000 received treatment for sedative misuse.
"Among people aged 12 or older who misused prescription pain relievers in the past year, the most commonly reported reason for their last misuse was to relieve physical pain (62.6 percent). Among past year misusers of tranquilizers, the most commonly reported reasons were to relax or relieve tension (44.9 percent) or to help with sleep (20.4 percent). Commonly reported reasons for misuse among stimulant misusers were to help be alert or stay awake, help concentrate, or help study (26.8, 26.5, and 22.5 percent, respectively). Among past year sedative misusers, the most common reason was to help with sleep (71.7 percent). Even if people misused prescription drugs for conditions for which these drugs are typically prescribed (e.g., for pain relief or to help with sleep), use without one’s own prescription or use more often or at a higher dosage than prescribed nevertheless constitutes misuse.
"Among people aged 12 or older who misused pain relievers in the past year, the most common source for the last pain reliever that was misused was from a friend or relative (53.7 percent), and about one third misused a prescription from one doctor. About 1 in 20 people who misused pain relievers bought the last pain reliever they misused from a drug dealer or stranger."
Hughes, A., Williams, M. R., Lipari, R. N., Bose, J., Copello, E. A. P., & Kroutil, L. A. (2016, September). Prescription drug use and misuse in the United States:
Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. NSDUH Data Review, p. 1. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/