Almost 70% of Americans Take Rx Drugs | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Almost 70% of Americans Take Rx Drugs

A study finds opioid painkillers are among the most common, with 13% of the US taking them.


Opioids are a concern because of their
"addicting nature" Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise


| Share

Nearly seven out of ten Americans take at least one prescription drug, over 50% take two, and 20% take five or more, according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic. The most common type of medication is antibiotics (17% of those studied), followed by antidepressants (13%) and painkilling opioids (also 13%). While the statistics are from the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Minnesota, study author Jennifer St. Sauver says they are comparable to elsewhere in the US, and reveal crucial insights into current medical practices. "Often when people talk about health conditions they're talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes," she explains. "However, the second most common prescription was for antidepressants—that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs were opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting nature." Researchers found that overall, women and older adults have more prescriptions than other groups, while young and middle-aged adults are more likely to be on antidepressants and opioids. Prescription drug use has been on the rise in the US for the last decade. The number of people taking at least one drug in the past month increased from 44% in 1999-2000 to 48% in 2007-2008.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv