A pair of reports recently issued by SAMHSA aim to shed light on the misuse of prescription medications, including opioids.
The first study, based on SAMHSA’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that most individuals who misuse prescription drugs do so in response to the condition for which they were originally prescribed the medication. According to the NSDUH data, 91.8 million Americans ages 18 and over (37.8% of the U.S. adult population) used prescription pain medications within the prior year. Of that group, 11.5 million reported misusing their prescription. Relieving physical pain was the most common reason for misuse, cited by 63.4% of those who misused their prescriptions.