According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a global pandemic categorized as a progressive, fatal disease if untreated. In the United States alone, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that more than 52 million people have used prescription drugs in a non-medical setting at some point in their lives. Even more alarming, research from NIDA indicates that of those users, one in 15 will try heroin within the next 10 years.
Sufferers of prescription pill addiction often cite experiencing a significant physical injury at some point in their past, during which time a doctor prescribed painkillers to help manage the pain, the Mayo Clinic suggests. Perhaps because powerful narcotics can be prescribed after something as common as routine dental procedures, these tiny pills have rapidly made their way into mainstream culture. Check out this playlist to learn more about the scary ways in which prescription pill abuse can affect anyone.