NPR: America On (More) Drugs

Prescription drug use in the U.S. is up.
Prescription drug use in the U.S. is up.

In the last decade, prescription drug use in the U.S. has risen to the point that 48.3 percent of people take at least one prescription medicine. That's up almost 5 percentage points from the 43.5 of people taking prescription drug of some kind at the end of the '90s.

There are sobering numbers here: 6.1 percent of prescriptions for adolescents are for ADHD drugs, Hensley writes, and "nearly 9 in 10 older people take at least one prescription...36.7 percent of them take five or more drugs."

This program aired on September 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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