Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info
Drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse exceeds heroin, cocaine and ecstasy combined

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: drug abuse, pharmaceuticals, health news

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
(NaturalNews) Rates of prescription drug abuse worldwide are higher than those for the use of cocaine, ecstasy and heroin, combined, according to a new report by the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Boards (INCB).

"Abuse of such drugs has been spreading over the world in recent years," said report co-author Hamid Ghodse of St. George's University in London. "It needs to be tackled urgently."

Ghodse said that prescription drug abuse is a "hidden problem," and it is difficult for authorities to get comprehensive data on the scale of the abuse. Recent high-profile celebrity deaths from prescription drug abuse, such as that of Michael Jackson, have brought more attention to the issue, however.

The INCB report notes that in the United States alone, an estimated 6.2 million people were addicted to prescription drugs in 2008, or roughly 2 percent of the population. Among illegal drugs, only cannabis use exceeds this figure.

The report further estimates that between 1 and 3 percent of Canadians abuse prescription opioids alone. Students in a number of European countries, including France, Italy, Lithuania and Poland, are estimated to abuse sedatives and tranquilizers at a rate of 10 to 18 percent.

The problem is fueled by the prevalence of poorly regulated online pharmacies, which often sell diverted, fake or stolen drugs without a prescription.

The INCB also warned that as governments and the pharmaceutical industry have cracked down on illicit distribution of the sedative Rohypnol (known generically as flunitrazepam and colloquially as "the date rape drug"), less tightly controlled drugs have begun to displace it among sexual predators. In particular, the use of ketamine and gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) in sexual assaults has risen.

"Since in many countries these drugs are easily available, they frequently fall into criminal hands," Ghodse said.

Organized crime has stepped into the business of prescription drugs, using methods from theft to manufacture to secure their products, INCB president Sevil Atasoy said, and continually seeking out new ways to get these products to market.

Sources for this story include: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61N24B....
STAY INFORMED! Free subscription to the Health Ranger's email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.