Feeds

Broadband leads to drug abuse, say US boffins

Prescription drugs 'fast replacing' heroin, cocaine etc

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Greater internet access leads to an increase in drug abuse, according to docboffins in the US. The researchers consider that this is due to the fact that the internet offers the opportunity to illegally purchase prescription drugs from rogue online pharmacies.

"We know we face a growing problem with prescription drug abuse in the United States. One need only look at statistics for college campuses, where prescription drugs are fast replacing illegal substances, to see the magnitude of the problem," says Dana Goldman, a top boffin at the University of Southern California. "Our findings suggest that Internet growth may partly explain the increase in prescription drug abuse, since it is well known that these drugs are easily available online."

Goldman and his colleagues came to this conclusion by examining FCC data on access to broadband internet across the States, and correlating this with records on admission to treatment centres for abuse of prescription drugs. Particular favourites, apparently, include powerful narcotic painkillers like Percocet and Oxycontin, and various other painkillers, stimulants, sedatives and tranquillisers.

The study showed that each 10 percent increase in the availability of broadband in a state was followed by a 1 percent increase in admissions for prescription drug abuse. During the same period admissions involving abuse of alcohol, heroin or cocaine - substances not available online in the US - showed minimal growth or actually decreased. "Overall growth in drug-seeking behavior cannot explain the rise in prescription drug abuse," says Anupam Jena of the Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborating with Goldman on the research. "Further studies need to better evaluate how easily commonly abused prescription drugs can be purchased online and explore the importance to the problem of foreign Internet pharmacies, which are outside the jurisdiction of the US government."

Jena and Goldman's paper Growing Internet Use May Help Explain The Rise In Prescription Drug Abuse In The United States is published online by the journal Health Affairs. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.