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Increases in Prescription Drug Addiction in North Carolina

The upturn in prescription drug abuse and addiction in the state of North Carolina can be attributed, in part, to the increased ease of access to the drugs. Doctors are prescribing powerful pain killers at an alarming rate.

The causes of this increase are many:

MDs claim it's unfair to point to physicians as a source of North Carolina's Prescription drug addiction problem. Prescription pain relievers are advertised directly to the public via television and radio ads, magazine advertisements and other printed media. They claim that patients come to them with requests for specific drugs they've seen in ads. "They're self-prescribing", one MD said.

Whether the "patients" begin taking the illegally obtained meds for actual pain or to get high, the addiction potential is real and to satisfy their cravings for the drug, they commit more and more illegal actions.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse is on the rise in North Carolina and across the country. Prescription drugs such as painkillers can be highly addictive and every bit as dangerous as street drugs.

Data from the N.C. Division of Public Health shows that more than 1,000 people in North Carolina die from prescription drug overdose each year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more Americans die from prescription drug overdoses than motor vehicle wrecks nationally.

Once the dependence on these powerful drugs sets in, the patient loses the ability to stop using them on his or her own. Finally, there is a full-blown addiction. Simply talking to an addicted person will not solve this complex problem, real, drug-free drug rehabilitation is required.

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older in North Carolina, by Substate Region: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs (Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

In 2012, heroin deaths, in North Carolina, nearly doubled to 148, while overall mortality from all opiates and hallucinogenic drugs ticked up only slightly.

North Carolina State Government Agencies

Drug Abuse Facts

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