Countries face “hidden problem” of prescription drug misuse

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 24 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1109
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The number of people addicted to prescription drugs has risen sharply in many countries, with many people combining this misuse with that of heroin, cocaine, and MDMA (ecstasy), warns a report from the International Narcotics Control Board, the independent body that monitors implementation of the United Nations’ drug control conventions.

    The board says that national authorities need to give more attention to this “hidden problem” when formulating public health policies.

    It is estimated that about 15 million people in the United States misused prescription drugs in 2008. Most of those (about 12 million people) misused pain relievers. Similarly, in …

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