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'Prescription drug abuse on rise in US'
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 08:49:22 GMT
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The proportion of US citizens abusing prescription drugs has significantly soared, as law enforcement agencies urge Americans to dispose of unused medicines, a study shows.

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more Americans abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, and that many of drugs are often obtained from friends and families, a Press TV correspondent in Washington reported on Friday.

The nonmedical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse, the study said.

Meanwhile, the administration of US President Barack Obama announced that plans are underway to treat addiction instead of keeping a tight rein on illegal production and distribution of prescription drugs in the US.

Last week, Obama rolled out a plan that will commit an additional $123 million to drug prevention during the 2012 fiscal year. The new plan also allocate $99 million for funding drug treatment programs.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies with the aid of the US Drug Enforcement Administration called on people to turn in unused ad unwanted prescription drugs at more than 4,700 sites nationwide.

However, experts say that prescription drugs are often abused because they're easy to access--often no further than a bathroom medicine cabinet.

Last year, more than 121 tons of prescription drugs were collected at the sites operated by law enforcement officials, with Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama accounting for about 4.5 tons of the drugs.

"Unfortunately the efforts that have been made by the government in the past and they are repeating it now, are efforts to curb the supply rather than the demand, and again we are not seeing the importance of treatment," Daniel Kelleher Professional treatment counselor told Press TV.

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