Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Prescription Painkiller Abuse is the Worst Drug Epidemic Today

     

    America’s most fatally abused drug is legal and sitting in the medicine cabinet. Understand the risks and how to prevent deaths and injuries associated with prescription drug abuse.

  • How Big is the Prescription Painkiller Problem?


    • Among people 35 to 54 years old, unintentional drug overdoses cause more deaths than motor vehicle crashes.
    • More than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers report getting them from friends or relatives.
    • In 2010, more than 400,000 emergency room visits were made related to prescription pain relievers.
    • Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.

Make Your Workplace Opioid Free

Employee use of prescription painkillers threatens employees' safety and your bottom line.

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  • Get the Latest Information on Opioids

    Receive email updates on preventing prescription drug misuse and overdose. Learn how you can join this initiative to save lives.

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  • What are Opioids?


    Opioid painkillers contain morphine and codeine. Like heroin, they derive from the poppy plant. People may think opioids are the best way to treat pain, but we know other, non-addictive medicines are just as effective. Learn more.
  • How Florida is Reducing Opioid Painkiller Abuse


    ​Laws, enforcement and prescribing guidelines have reduced Florida's opioid painkiller fatal overdose epidemic by more than 23%. Other states can use the same model. Learn how.

  • Prescription Painkillers are Gateway Drugs to Heroin


    ​Four out of five new heroin users started by misusing prescription painkillers. About 4-6 percent of prescription painkiller abusers will transition to heroin use. Learn how one high school athlete's addiction path ultimately ended in tragedy.

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The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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