Tuesday we told you about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which Sheridan will be taking part in this Saturday in the Walgreen's parking lot from 10 am to 2 pm. Today we'll talk a little bit about how big of a problem prescription drug abuse has become. Sheridan Police Department Evidence Technician Steve Johnson.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration website, every day, on average, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, and 1 in 7 teens admit to abusing prescription drugs to get high in the past year. Sixty percent of teens who abused prescription pain relievers did so before the age of 15.
And where are teenagers getting all of these prescription drugs? Statistics show that more times than not, it's from their parents medicine cabinets.
Here are some more alarming facts from the DEA website:
• Fifty-six percent of teens believe that prescription drugs are easier to get than illicit drugs.
• 2 in 5 teens believe that prescription drugs are “much safer” than illegal drugs. And 3 in 10 teens believe that prescription pain relievers are not addictive.
• According to the Center for Disease Control, prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are responsible for more overdose deaths than “street drugs” such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines.
• The number of emergency room visits attributable to pharmaceuticals alone is up 97% between 2004 and 2008
• The number of persons seeking treatment for pain reliever abuse is up more than fourfold between 1998 and 2008.