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Ten Percent of Americans Admit Taking Medication They Have Not Been Prescribed


A new poll finds 10 percent of Americans admit they have taken someone else’s prescription drugs. One-quarter of those people used the drugs to get high.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found about 60 percent of Americans who used someone else’s prescriptions were seeking pain relief, while 20 percent took them to sleep, or to manage anxiety and stress, Reuters reports.

Two-thirds of those who said they used other people’s prescriptions said the drugs were given to them by a family member, friend or acquaintance. Some people use another person’s prescriptions to save on costs, the article notes.

Dr. Wilson Compton, a Division Director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, warned against taking someone else’s prescription drugs. He noted doctors prescribe specific dosage levels according to a person’s individual needs. “Simply because it’s a medicine that comes from a pharmacy does not mean it is without risk,” he said. “There’s a reason they require a prescription.”

The online poll included the responses of 6,438 American adults.

1 Response to this article

  1. Joe Miller / August 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I suspect that unfortunately such incidence of use is higher than 10 percent. Without doubt a good percentage of the respondents are reluctant to answer in the affirmative to questions which they know reveal what is considered to be criminal behavior. Even so in what are purported to be anonymous surveys. Making criminals out of people for such behavior though does little else other than to create more problems for both the user and society with little to no impact on these kinds of consumption rates. Our real job and the one that shows the most positive impact with little to no negative consequences to the users and general population at risk from such behaviors is to educate the public on the negative heath consequences of such behaviors.

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