How Many Americans are Taking Prescription Drugs?

Prescription Drugs

According to Consumer Reports, more than half of Americans take four prescription medications, as their recent survey of 1,947 people indicates. Other vitamins and daily supplements are added to the mix, as Americans attempt to help themselves as much as they can. While most believe these prescription medications are helping, the facts are showing that they could be harming us as well. Almost 1.3 million people went to the emergency room due to adverse drug effects in 2014, and about $200 billion each year is spent on unnecessary and improper medications. Needless to say, prescription drugs have become a huge problem in this country.

The Consumer Reports has also stated that prescription use has increased by 85% over two decades – with 2,416,064,220 prescriptions filled in 1997 and 4,468,929,929 prescriptions filled in 2016. These numbers are staggering; what exactly are Americans being prescribed the most? Data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project shows that antidepressants are the second most common drug prescribed, with opioids being the third most common. Unfortunately, many of these drugs have had addictive properties, leading us to the opioid epidemic. What actions can you take to reduce your risk of addiction while also avoiding medications that are of no benefit to you? Here are some excellent tips:

  1. Avoid taking too many drugs. Many of the drugs prescribed are meant to combat the side effects of other drugs – if you’re in pain, see if there are natural ways to relieve that pain before rushing to get prescription medication. For instance, stretching and exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and chronic pain related to stress – speak with your doctor about these options before moving forward with medication.
  2. Don’t take drugs that aren’t needed. If you’re able to find healthier, more natural ways to relieve some of the symptoms you’re experiencing, choose that over medications that cause more harm than good.
  3. Avoid taking drugs prematurely. Rather than rushing to get medications for non-serious related concerns, give them a few days to see if they subside. Oftentimes, minor issues such as headaches and diarrhea can go away with a simple change in diet, more relaxation, and a little bit of exercise.

If you’ve been struggling with addiction, make the decision to seek help today. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you can take back control over your life.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.