Research has shown that large numbers of Americans “borrow” prescription drugs from family members or friends. It has been assumed that the abuse of prescription drugs is more commonplace among low-income and minority patients because these groups tend to have lower levels of insurance coverage and other factors.
But new research from scholars at Temple University has found that the rate of borrowing prescription drugs in low-income groups is no greater than in other segments of the population. In a study of low-income patients in Philadelphia, of which 75 percent were African Americans, the research found that 18 percent reported using drugs that were prescribed for another person. This is similar to the rates for the population as whole, as found in previous research.