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Abstract

lmost 17,000 people die per year of overdoses involving prescription opioids, controlled substances prescribed to treat pain and addiction. As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has deemed prescription drug abuse a national epidemic. In addition to opioids, several other classes of prescription medications have become prone to abuse, including stimulants and benzodiazepines. As many as twenty percent of college students have used stimulants at some point in their studies for nonmedical use, and the number of admissions to substance abuse treatment programs for benzodiazepine use nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008. And in 2011, benzodiazepines caused the most prescription drug overdose deaths in Georgia.

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