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CDC Reports Nine Million People Use Sleeping Aids

Update Date: Aug 29, 2013 02:42 PM EDT
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The rise of prescription drug abuse has spearheaded several new programs to find ways of preventing this problem. Even though these programs have identified several risk factors involved with prescription drug abuse, the issue is still at large. Now, a new report out of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found new statistics that the use of prescription sleeping aids tends to increase with one's age and education levels.

In this new report, the CDC found statistics that suggest more usage than previously believed. According the National Sleep Foundation, roughly a quarter of Americans use some form of sleeping aid at some time during the year. The CDC used data from interviews of around 17,000 adults in the United Sates from 2005 to 2010. The CDC found, after analyzing more person-based factors, such as age, race, ethnicity, education level and self-reported sleep duration and insomnia, that four percent of American adults over 20-years-old have used sleeping medications within the past 30 days.

"Prescription sleep aids are one of the treatment options for trouble going into or maintaining sleep," the CDC report noted. "However, long-term use of sleep aids has been linked to adverse outcomes in health."

The CDC reports also found that the use of sleeping medications varied between people. Around seven percent of adults 80-years-old or older used these pills within the past month. For the age group of 20 to 39, the percentage of those that took sleeping pills was under two percent. Aside from age, the researchers found that education level influenced prescription drug usage as well. Over four percent of people with degrees higher than a high school diploma used sleeping pills within the past month whereas only three percent of the people who never completed high school took sleeping aids. The researchers found that women tend to use sleeping pills more than men with the rates going at five percent versus three percent respectively. In addition, nearly five percent of white people use sleeping pills whereas 2.5 percent of blacks and 2 percent of Hispanics do.  

Based from the data, roughly nine million American adults use sleeping pills. The majority of these people are white, female, educated and over 50-years-old. With this new information, doctors can better screen people for their risks of prescription drug abuse and provide care faster than before.

For more information, visit the CDC website

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