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The website for Above the Influence gives prescription drug facts and statistics about the increase in the illegal use prescription medication. Prescription drugs are defined as medicines prescribed by a doctor to treat or cure certain health conditions such as diabetes, mental illness, cancer or infection. They are also used to manage pain amd any prescription drug must be regulated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Above the Influence defines misuse of medication as the use of prescription drugs, whether for discount prescriptions or otherwise, for a reason other than that for which a specific drug was prescribed. In other words, a person may take a pain killer or any other drug with the intention and means of getting intoxicated or high rather than using the drugs for the purpose intended by a doctor. Between 1995 and 2005, statistics show that treatment admissions for people with some form of dependence on pain killers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin) increased by more than 300%.
Even those that use the drugs legally, but not in accordance with directions, are misusing medications and are susceptible to overdose, addiction and/or death. The risk of these consequences increases dramatically when drugs are mixed with alcohol or other substances.
A 2008 study revealed that there were 224,355 death certificates in the U.S. issued for people who died from medication errors or related issues. Prescription drug facts also show that there has been a 3200% increase between 1983 and 2004 of deaths from combining alcohol with street drugs or prescribed medications.