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A new study out of Washington is cause for concern.
The latest state-by-state report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows Utah has the highest rate in the nation for the non-medical use of prescription pain killers.
Paradoxically, the report shows Utah also with the lowest rate nationally for underage drinking, as well as the lowest overall rate for alcohol use. It seems in this culture of teetotalers, far too many get hooked on drugs such as Oxycontin, Loritab, and Vicodin.
Sadly, it reflects what's happening worldwide. The U.N. affiliated Narcotics Control board reported earlier this month in Vienna that abuse of prescription drugs is about to exceed the use of illicit street narcotics worldwide. It has already happened in the United States, according to the report.
Awareness, of course, is a good first step in remedying what is becoming a costly, even deadly trend. And experts offer a number of common sense approaches to dealing with the problem: Prescription painkillers should never be used unless actually prescribed! Don't take more doses than prescribed! Appropriately dispose of medications not used!
Reversing the trend, though, will also require overcoming a growing societal mindset that there is a magical pill to remedy very imaginable malady under the sun.