The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
Incidence, Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
by Ty S. Schepis, PhD, Editor
June 2018, 322pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5264-0
$85, £66, 74€, A117
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5265-7
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The number of deaths caused by abuse of prescription drugs, including opioids, in 2016 was equivalent to the resulting casualties of at least four Boeing 747s crashes every week with no survivors.

This overview of prescription drug abuse includes historical background, key concepts, and discussion of the prevalence of drug abuse, treatments, and policy issues implicated in ending the epidemic.

Prescription opioid medication abuse has been declared a national crisis by experts in medicine, substance use, public health, and pain management, culminating in a declaration made by the President of the United States that opioid misuse and abuse is a national health emergency. In this comprehensive text, expert scholars analyze and address a wide range of issues in, obstacles to, and potential solutions for this emergency, which caused more than 50,000 deaths in 2016 alone. It covers a variety of topics related to prescription misuse from both clinical and academic perspectives.

After an opening containing background material on the most commonly misused medications, chapters examine subgroups engaged in misuse and special medical environments where misuse issues are key. They then cover U.S. policy, perspectives outside the U.S., and theories that may explain the misuse phenomena. This book will serve as a resource for students and professionals in fields related to prescription drug abuse—including psychology, sociology, medicine, and public policy—and is accessible to individuals not trained in these fields.


  • Zooms in on legal and policy issues related to the ongoing opioid epidemic in the U.S., providing insight into current and potential actions to limit the epidemic
  • Describes each prescription drug among the most commonly abused, for what it is prescribed, how it works, economic cost, and the damage that abuse of the drug may cause to both individual health and social wellbeing
  • Identifies each of the most common groups of people who abuse prescription drugs, their motivations for doing so, and the special risks for each
  • Addresses commonly co-abused drugs and the risks of using them concurrently
  • Includes comparative text examining prescription drug abuse in Canada and the United Kingdom
Ty S. Schepis/b>, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Texas State University. He obtained his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a National Institutes of Health–funded postdoctoral fellowship in substance abuse at Yale University School of Medicine. His work has been published in academic journals including Addiction and Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He has been principal investigator on four funded National Institutes of Health research grants, all from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with over one million dollars in total research funding.


"This text is appropriate for inclusion in libraries serving students in health, substance abuse, and criminal justice, particularly those seeking to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. . . Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals."—Choice, February 4, 2019
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