News Release
May 18, 2009
Garrison Courtney
Office of Public Affairs

National Assessment Finds Deaths and Treatment Admissions Involving Controlled Prescription Medications Increasing; Abuse Most Prevalent Among Young Adults

Newly Confirmed Drug Czar, DEA, NDIC to Hold Media Availability on Wednesday, May 20th

WASHINGTON–Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, will release a report on the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs on Wednesday, May 20th at the National Methamphetamine Pharmaceutical Initiative (NMPI) in Nashville, Tennessee. The report finds pharmaceutical crimes pose a serious threat to public health and safety, with unintentional overdoses and treatment admissions involving prescription opioids increasing significantly over a similar four-year period.

The National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment (NPDTA) synthesizes reports and data from law enforcement and public health officials to evaluate the threat posed by the distribution, diversion, and abuse of controlled prescription drugs in the United States. Pain relievers, mostly prescription opioids, are among the most widely diverted and abused prescription medications. Young adults – aged 18 to 25 – are the most prevalent abusers of these drugs, with abuse also occurring among teens, adults, and the elderly.

Director Kerlikowske will release the report to over 300 law enforcement officials attending NMPI, an annual conference to address anti-methamphetamine and pharmaceutical diversion through strategy development, intelligence sharing, and training.

NPDTA was produced by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the request of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Who: Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy

Joseph Donovan, Deputy Assistant Director, Policy and Interagency Affairs, NDIC

Joseph Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, DEA

WHAT: Media Availability at NMPI

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2008 at 10 A.M

WHERE: Gaylord Opryland Hotel
              2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville TN
              Cheekwood “F” Room