Rx Abuse: The Scope of the Problem in 2015

In 2013, there were more than 2.8 million new illicit drug users in the United States, or approximately 7800 new users per day. Although drug abuse is not a new concept, attitudes have shifted and recreational use has become more commonly accepted in society. A change in the types of drugs in demand has accompanied this cultural shift, with prescription drug abuse reaching “epidemic proportions.”

In this session, Lisa M. McElhaney, president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), will discuss both historic and current data on pharmaceutical drug abuse and diversion, trends in drug abuse, and the role of healthcare practitioners in this epidemic.

She will review what happens when legal medications are distributed illegally, who the different players are, drugs of choice, and patterns of abuse, as well as market availability and accessibility of certain drugs before describing tactics for prevention.

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