The White House reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that 4.9 million people, 1.9% of the population, abused prescription drugs. Nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics, particularly pain relievers, was the most commonly used illicit substance after marijuana. “In our military, illicit drug use increased from 5% to 12% among active duty service members from 2005 to 2008, primarily due to non-medical use of prescription drugs.” Drug induced deaths have almost doubled since 1999 and are now second only to motor vehicle fatalities.
At the end of 2013, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) published a list of the top 17 abused drugs of 2013. The table below combines most of the given statistical information in the list of abused drugs and presented them in rank order, from one to seventeen.
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