The January issue highlighted State Estimates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers based on the combined data of the 2010 and 2011 surveys.  Nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers was defined as “use of these drugs without a prescription or use that occurred simply for the experience or feeling the drug caused.”  The rate of nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers among those aged 12 or older was 4.0% in North Carolina (this compares to the national rate of 4.6%) and indicated a slight decline from the 2009-10 rate of 4.54%.  Table I shows the rates of prescription drug abuse for different age groups.

Table 1.  Nonmedical use of Prescription Pain Relievers by Age Group in NC

2009-2010

2010-2011

Ages 12 or Older

4.54

4.00

Ages 12 to 17

6.89

6.28

Ages 18 to 25

10.58

8.96

Age 26 or Older

3.25

2.89

A PDF copy of the January 2013 issue can be downloaded from SAMHSA. In addition to nonmedical use of pain relievers, data are available on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; substance dependence or abuse; serious mental illness; depression; and suicidal ideation.