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Reports Show Surge in Prescription Tranquilizer Abuse

August 23, 2005 -- Last month the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) reported that more than 15 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. The survey indicated that from 1992 to 2000 the number of new tranquilizer and sedative abusers increased by more than 125 percent.

 “  We need to have drug education curriculums in our school systems every year to start making a huge impact  
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) issued a statement last week regarding the report saying, “This CASA survey should be a wake up call to those who believe that recent reports of reduced rates of teen drug use are an excuse to reduce funding for drug prevention and enforcement programs.” Senator Biden is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs.

Also in the last few days, news stories have surfaced that rapper Eminem was admitted to a hospital for treatment of Ambien abuse. The drug is a prescription sleep aid that is classified as a hypnotic tranquilizer.

Tranquilizers and other sedatives are categorized as central nervous system (CNS) depressants and have a high potential for abuse. These are drugs that simply slow down the nervous system and are often prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. Other types of CNS depressants include Valium, Xanax and Librium.

“We need to have drug education
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 curriculums in our school
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 systems every year to start making a huge impact,” said Luke Catton, who is a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and supervisor at Narconon Arrowhead. “Having worked in the prevention field for several years, many of the teachers I come in contact with are desperate for workable solutions to keep their students off of drugs. As a nation we must implement drug education
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 programs for every year of school, not just a few semesters or special programs.”

Between 1992 and 2002 the number of substance abuse treatment admissions reporting tranquilizers as the primary drug being abused increased by 79% according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Treatment Episode Data Set. There were 32,800 additional treatment admissions where tranquilizers were the second or third drug of abuse.

In addition, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that controlled substances were implicated in nearly 30 percent of drug related emergency room deaths in 2002.

As if the abuse of the prescription drugs alone aren’t enough, the CASA survey also reported that teens who abuse controlled prescription drugs are much likelier to use alcohol, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine, compared to teenagers who did not abuse prescription drugs.

Organizations like Narconon Arrowhead are dedicated to eliminating substance abuse throughout the country through effective programs.

Narconon Arrowhead is the largest rehabilitation and education program in the international network of Narconon® centers that covers over 120 programs in nearly 40 countries and growing. The organization uses a drug-free approach and does not advocate the use of prescription drugs in the addiction treatment process. It is also one of the largest and most successful facilities in the U.S. and it attributes its effectiveness to the application of American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

For more information about drugs and rehabilitation or to get help for someone you know who is suffering from addiction, call Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or visit www.stopaddiction.com.


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