When abused, not only are these drugs dangerous in their own right, they often lead to the use of harder drugs, with life-altering consequences.
Diversion and abuse of prescription drugs are a threat to our public health and safety--similar to the threat posed by illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine," said Director Kerlikowske. "In 2006, the last year for which data are available, drug-induced deaths in the United States exceeded firearm-injury deaths and ranked second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of accidental death.
Friends or relatives are the primary sources for CPDs [controlled prescription drugs] among most abusers…Teenagers find diverted CPDs readily available.
CPD abuse is most prevalent among young adults.
This certainly coincides with our experience with increasing numbers of prescription drug deaths that we rule accidental, i.e. not suicide, just folks using, overusing and abusing prescription drugs.