About one in 10 people admitted to addiction treatment programs in 2008 misused prescription drugs, quadruple the rate reported in 1998, ABC News reported July 16.
"People are getting treatment, which is good news. But the bad news is the problem just keeps growing," said Peter Delaney, director of the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Researchers found that admissions for prescription-drug problems cut across age, gender, education, and employment status. The findings are drawn from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).
Experts said that prescription drugs are widely available and that many people don't perceive their use as risky. "This has been a trend coming for 10 years," added Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. "It should be no surprise that now it is showing up in ER visits and people checking into treatment centers."