About half all American adults regularly use prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most commonly prescribed drugs tend to be antidepressants for middle-aged Americans and drugs used to treat high cholesterol for older Americans. In 2008, 20% of children and adolescents were reported to have taken prescription drugs within a 30-day period, with asthma medications being the most common for children and stimulants being the most common for adolescents.
More about drugs:
- In 2008, about 36,000 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses, roughly the same number of deaths from car accidents.
- More than 10% of Americans report having taken five or more prescription drugs within a 30-day period. Older Americans are the most likely to be taking five or more drugs per month, at about 40% of the age-group population.
- Total spending on prescription drugs in the US was more than $230 billion US Dollars (USD) in 2008, an increase of 50% from 1999.