Misuse of prescription drugs: data from the 2002, 2003, and 2004 national surveys on drug use and health
This report presents findings from the 2002, 2003, and 2004 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs) on the nonmedical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs. NSDUH, an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 or older, covers four broad classes of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs: pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Attention also is given to two specific drugs within these general classes: methamphetamine, a stimulant, and OxyContin®, a pain reliever. Nonmedical use is defined in NSDUH as use of these medications without a prescription of the respondent's own or simply for the experience or feeling the drug caused. Thus, nonmedical use does not include legitimate use of prescription drugs under a physician's direction, nor does it include use of over-the-counter medications.