Prescription Painkiller Abuse. A National Epidemic

Prescription Painkiller Abuse. Quickly Becoming A National Epidemic
An 'urgent and growing public health crisis' says the US Attorney General prescription drug abuse is on the rise and quickly becoming a national epidemic. Every day, 45 people die from prescription painkillers, that is more than heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined.

In the last decade, the number of people undergoing treatment for prescription painkiller drug abuse and addiction has quadrupled. Second only to marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders. With the top prescription drugs being abused by teens consisting of ADHD medications, Adderall and Vicodin, and cold medicines. Unfortunately, these medications and painkillers like hydrocodone are often easily accessible from their own homes.

And it’s not just “kids” abusing prescription drugs. From a CDC article titled Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses “Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.” Siting painkillers as the top perpetrators.

Prescription Painkillers Carrying the Highest Risk of Addiction

  • Any opioid-based painkiller. (commonly used in prescription painkillers).
  • Morphine
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Oxecta)
  • Hydrocodone (*Zohydro ER)
  • Codeine
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

*A note about Zohydro ER, an extremely potent hydrocodone product released on the market in October of 2013. This product was released even though the FDA’s own advisory committee showed concern and resistance. The comittee voted 11-2 against Zohydro ER approval and some states are attempting to ban the product. This potent painkiller can lead to an overdose with even small doses in non-tolerant individuals, and one dose could kill a child.

The Link Between Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin
Recent statistics show that 1 out of 15 people who take prescription painkillers for recreational use will try heroin within 10 years. Heroin is 3 times more addictive than painkillers and relatively cheap.

Find Help For Someone Who is Addicted
Professional help should be consulted due to the need for safe detoxification. For free and confidential treatment referral call the National Substance Abuse Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Now the Good News! Chiropractic Care A Safe Option For Pain Relief
A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.

Chiropractic care is recognized as one of the safest therapies available for the treatment of:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Joint Pain of the Arms or Legs
  • Headaches
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Complaints

Chiropractic care is more effective at treating pain quicker than other forms of pain relief. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in those patients who have been experiencing the symptoms for one year or less. In addition, a study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications.

If you are experiencing pain, get relief. Make your appointment today to see if safe, effective Chiropractic Care at American Family Spine and Health can help you! Call today 704-792-2700.

Prescription Drug Addiction - Top 18 Facts for You and Your Family at
CDC - Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses at
Back Pain Facts and Statistics at
Chiropractic: A Safe Treatment Option at


We look forward to hearing from you

Location & Hours


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Concord Office


10:15 am-12:45 pm

3:00 pm-6:30 pm


3:00 pm-6:30 pm


10:15 am-12:45 pm

3:00 pm-6:30 pm


8:30 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-6:30 pm


9:00 am-11:30 am