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IU Study: Prescription Drug Abuse Up Nationwide, In Indiana

Hoosiers follow a disturbing national trend when it comes to misuse of prescription medication, a new survey shows.

prescription pills

Photo: AKZOphoto (Flickr)

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Indiana.

Experts say prescription drug abuse continues to rise in Indiana. An Indiana University Center for Health Policy report says in 2010, 55 percent of Americans over the age of 12 who used non-medical pain relievers got them for free from a relative or friend.

The report also says more than a million Hoosiers over the age of 12, or about a fifth of the state’s population, admit to misusing prescription drugs at least once in their lives.

Dr. Tim Kelly of Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis says addiction treatment centers nationwide are also seeing a five-fold increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents linked to prescription drugs.

The list of the most commonly abused drugs includes hydrocodone, oxycodone, xanax and valium. Kelly says many patients who come for treatment actually start out with medical conditions or anxiety issues that require painkillers and other drugs, but eventually become addicted.

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