Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is a complex problem, affecting individuals of all ages and in all communities across the country and its territories. Prescription drugs include pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Prescription drug misuse or abuse describes situations in which individuals use these drugs in ways they were not intended: either without a prescription, inconsistent with the doctor's instructions, or only for the experience or feeling they produce.

SAMHSA's CAPT is working with states, tribes, jurisdictions, and communities to develop and implement strategies to prevent the misuse and abuse of prevention drugs. Below are resources to assist in that effort.

Archived Webinars:

Decision Support Tools:

Data Sources Related to the Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs:

Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace:

  • Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace (PAW): Prescription Drug Abuse Webinar (Slide Presentation). This webinar is the first in a series on prescription drug abuse prevention. It highlights the four major subtypes of non-medical drug use, distinguishes between the types of prescription drugs that are most abused, and identifies the populations at-risk for different types of prescription drug abuse and the risk factors for various consumption patterns.

  • Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace. Also developed by SAMHSA's Preventing PAW Technical Assistance Program, this fact sheet reviews the safety of prescription drugs, the extent of the problem and those affected in the workplace, and opportunities for prevention and treatment.

Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract (Reference #HHSS277200800004C).