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Federal officials report that the number of people seeking treatment for prescription painkiller use is rising! According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, about 22 million Americans have misused prescription painkillers since 2002. As a result, the number of people who are seeking treatment for drug use quadrupled between 2004 and 2010. This is a problem that is reaching epidemic proportions and one solution to combat it head on is through education.

Researchers attribute the increase in these numbers to the onslaught of marketing by drug makers, the over prescribing by doctors, and patients getting the same prescription from multiple doctors. Doctors with the best intentions want to help patients manage pain by prescribing these medications. It’s up to the consumer to responsibly follow directions with the ultimate goal of weaning oneself off. It’s also the responsibility of these individuals as parents, to make sure that the medication is not easily available for adolescents to get their hands on. Often prescription medicines are shelved in a bathroom cabinet and inquisitive teens will skim a couple of pills off the top, assuming no one will notice.

According to SAMHSA, the seven states with highest rates of narcotic painkiller abuse are:

1) Arizona

2) Colorado

3) Idaho,

4) Nevada

5) New Mexico

6) Oregon

7) Washington

The four states with the lowest rates are:

1) Illinois

2) North Dakota

3) South Dakota

4) Iowa

Advocates are calling for stricter rules to regulate the supply of this medication. However, research also shows that education is the key to prevention. A high quality online drug education class is a successful way to address the topic with any age group, but especially our adolescents. An 8 or 12-hour drug class online is an essential tool to use to teach individuals of all ages about drug use and abuse. One way to stop any desire to try drugs is to learn about all the negative side effects on the brain, body and ultimately life. Drug classes provide the facts on what exactly drug use will do to your central nervous system, internal organs and anxiety and stress levels. Classes teach about the different kind of drugs out there, and how trying one drug can lead to the desire to try another. Minors will also learn what the legal implications will be if they are caught with illegal substances.

It’s important to select a drug class not based on the lowest price, but based on the qualifications of the expert program designers. Look for one that is developed by a licensed and practicing psychotherapist who specializes in the field of alcohol and drug addiction. This will insure that you are getting the most current and effective skills and techniques to avoid and potentially overcome abuse.

Online clients agree that taking a course from the convenience of your own home instead of having to drive to a classroom is the best way to go. They can be taken at your own pace, at any time of the day or night so clients don’t need to miss any school or work to complete the course. Teenagers can benefit by taking drug classes after school as an enrichment program and tool to help them say no to drugs.

Take an online drug class as a proactive measure or as a resource to help recover from a life of prescription drug abuse.