The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration borrowed data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which revealed that 2.4 million persons, 12 years of age or older, made non-medical use of prescription pain relievers, 12 months prior to the survey. Meanwhile, an estimated 2.1 million Americans has initiated the use of marijuana and 1 million, cocaine abuse.
The statistics revealed the following : 48 percent of new initiates used Vicodin, Lortab or Lorcet; 34.3 percent used Darvocet, Darvon, or Tylenol with codeine; 20 percent used Percocet, Percodan or Tylox; 18.4 percent used generic hydrocodone; 14.3 percent used generic codeine; 8.4 percent used Oxycontin; and 4.3 percent used morphine. Over half of the subjects who misused pain medications (54.9 percent) in 2004 were female, the report says.
"While overall illicit drug use continues to decline among our young people, we are always paying close attention to the data to identify any potential areas of concern," said Charles Curie, SAMHSA Administrator. "Abuse of prescription pain medication is dangerous and can lead to the destructive path of addiction. The initiation rates show we must continue our efforts to help the public confront and reduce all drug abuse.", he said.