Study Links Rise of Internet to More Abuse of Painkillers, Other Prescriptions

For every 10 percent increase in high-speed Internet use, admissions to treatment facilities for prescription drug abuse, including painkillers, rose by 1 percent, according to a study in Health Affairs.


There was no such rise in admissions for abuse of alcohol, cocaine and heroin, which are not readily purchased online. A previous study found a nearly fivefold increase from 1997-2007 in admissions for abuse of narcotic painkillers.


Illegitimate pharmacies on the Internet do not require a patient to visit a physician in advance to obtain a prescription. Some of them are "questionnaire pharmacies," which require users only to complete an online questionnaire before medication is dispensed.


Read the Health Affairs study on prescription drug abuse.


Related Articles on painkiller prescriptions:

Maine Painkiller Bill Faces Opposition

Ohio Prioritizes Reducing Painkiller Abuse

Maryland Revokes License of Pain Management Specialist Dinesh Shah


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