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US Prescription Drug Use Rates are Rising

AOS & Drug Free Worker (1)
We have written extensively about prescription drug problems in both Missouri and Kansas.
Unfortunately, it seems that we won’t stop writing about prescription medications for a while, since rates of use are up in the United States, leading to an increased risk of abuse.
This comes from research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association compiled from nationwide data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that analyzed prescription drug use trends from 1999-2012.
Read on to learn more about their findings and what it could mean for your community.

Prescription Drug Use Up in the US, Study Finds

The Research

Before the results of this study were released, there was a lack of truly consolidated data measuring prescription drug use at the population level. Typically, information is gathered from pharmaceutical databases or spending records.

Using data from NHANES, however, Dr. Elizabeth D. Kantor and her colleagues were about to analyze prescription drug use trends over a 13 year period. Almost 38,000 American adults ages 20+ were surveyed in regard to use of prescriptions in the previous 30 days (overall and by drug class).

The researchers found that use of prescription drugs increased from 51% of the population i  1999-2000 to 59% in 2011-2012, with prevalence of use increasing in 11 different drug classes.

Notably, prescription drug usage grew among adults 40-64 and 65+, but not in adults 20-39.

Another increase? The number of individuals engaging in polypharmacy, the use of 5+ prescription drugs, increased from 8% to 15% in all three age groups.

The Implications

Overall, the researchers found the 8 out of 10 most commonly used drugs are used in the treatment of cardiometabolic syndrome, which includes conditions like diabetes and hypertension, as well as in treating conditions associated with obesity. This suggests that there is a need for the development of different treatments for these conditions as well as updated clinical guidelines for prescribing medications in these cases.

With prescription drug use on the rise, it is no surprise that abuse rates have also gone up. Even if the individual prescribed the medication is not the one abusing it, there is always a risk of friends or family members getting the medication from the original recipient — whether it’s with their knowledge and consent or not.

Monitoring Prescription Drug Use

ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North can be your company’s partner in drug testing for prescription abuse. We can conduct prescription monitoring to ensure medication adherence, as well as pre-employment, random, and reasonable suspicion testing.

For more information, call us today at .

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