EAGAN, Minn. — One-in-four Americans admits that they have misused prescription drugs, according to a new national survey by FindLaw.com.
According to the survey, the most common form of misuse admitted by survey respondents involved use of a drug by someone other than the person listed on the prescription: as many as 24% of people say they have either taken a medicine that was prescribed to someone else or have given their own prescription medicines to someone else.
"Controlling prescription drug abuse is now part of the National Drug Control Strategy by the federal government," stated Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor at FindLaw.com. "Prescription drug laws are intended to limit access and distribution of those drugs to persons with documented medical needs under strictly controlled conditions. Use of prescription drugs by persons other than the person named on the prescription or for uses other than intended is both illegal and dangerous."
Much of the self-admitted drug abuse appears to be attempts to self-medicate a medical condition. Only 5% say they have taken a prescription medicine, whether their own or someone else's, for the purpose of getting of high.
Approximately 3% of people say that have paid someone to obtain a prescription medicine and 1% of people say that they have stolen a medicine that was prescribed for someone else.