Feeds

Broadband leads to drug abuse, say US boffins

Prescription drugs 'fast replacing' heroin, cocaine etc

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.