Rush Limbaugh is looking more like the poster child for today’s drug addict. A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that the type of drugs Rush enjoy(ed) are the drugs of choice for more Americans than all others combined.
The 15.1 million Americans abusing controlled prescription drugs exceed the combined number abusing cocaine (5.9 million), hallucinogens (4.0 million), inhalants (2.1 million) and heroin (.3 million).
Among the most popular are OxyContin and Vicodin, Valium and Xanax, and Ritalin and Adderall. The study found that between 1992 and 2003, there was an 81 percent increase in abuse of these drugs by adults (18 and over), and a startling 212 percent jump among 12- to 17-year-olds.
“Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of controlled prescription drug abuse and addiction,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “While America has been congratulating itself in recent years on curbing increases in alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and in the decline in teen smoking, abuse of prescription drugs has been stealthily, but sharply, rising.”
Availability of these drugs – which are so much more alluring to the Rushes and Noelle Bushes of the world – online has a lot to do with their popularity, the study said. If only they had figured out how to buy online, the pair might not have been busted for doctor shopping.