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CDC Reports Prescription Drug Use on the Rise

A recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the extent to which prescription drug use has affected Americans, and the news is less than encouraging.

The report, which compared data from 1994 with data from 2002, showed that the percentage of the U.S. population taking at least one prescription drug rose sharply between 1994 and 2000, from 39.1 percent to 44.3 percent. Leading this increase was the number of people taking three or more prescription drugs, which increased from 11.8 percent to 16.5 percent.

Sadly, these increases were seen in all age groups: 3.7 percent of children age 18 years and younger were taking three or more prescription drugs in 2000, reflecting an increase of more than 50 percent from 1994. And as of 2000, a whopping 83.9 percent of seniors took one or more prescription drugs, up more than 10 percentage points from 73.6 percent in 1994. Interestingly, the percentage of seniors taking one to two prescription drugs decreased slightly, while the percentage taking three or more drugs increased by more than one-third to 47.6 percent.

There's no doubt that prescription drug use has been increasing for decades. Yet the trend toward taking multiple drugs is more recent. If you are taking one or more prescription medications, ask your physician if there are any other viable alternatives. And remember, if you are taking prescription drugs for pain, regular chiropractic care may render your need for drugs unnecessary.

To find out more about the benefits of chiropractic, as well as healthy living through alternative means, visit


Health, United States, 2004, With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. National Center for Health Statistics. Hyattsville, Maryland, 2004.


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