According to Dana Goldman, a public health expert at the University of Southern California, the findings suggest that widespread use of the Internet may partially explain the spike in prescription drug abuse in the past decade. Due in part to the existence of offshore online pharmacies that are outside the law, prescription drugs are replacing illegal substances as targets of abuse on college campuses and in other areas of American society.
Across the nation, the prescription drugs that are most frequently obtained online without a prescription are painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives.
Between the years 2000 and 2007, the study found that each 10% rise in the availability high-speed Internet access could be matched to a 1% increase in prescription drug treatment admissions.
During the same period, treatment admissions for illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin and for alcohol either fell or rose only minimally.
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