Prescription Drug Abuse A Growing Problem In Kansas

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, September 24, 2012

An a news conference Monday, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom shared an important message for parents, teachers, community leaders, health care providers and law enforcement officers about the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.

“Every day, 2,500 American teens are using a prescription drug to get high for the first time,” Grissom said. “More Americans are dying from drug overdoses each year than the number who are killed in auto accidents.”

The Medicine Abuse Project is a drive to raise public awareness of prescription drug abuse. The project's goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing prescription drugs over the next five years.

Grissom cited what he called an alarming series of statistics showing the rapid growth of prescription drug abuse. Every 19 minutes, one person dies from a drug overdose in the United States. The death toll from prescription painkillers has tripled in the past decade. Emergency room visits involving the abuse of prescription drugs more than doubled from 2004 to 2010.

In Kansas, Grissom says federal prosecutors are seeing startling examples of the prescription drug abuse problem. He says parents can take a significant step by talking to teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

“Experts tell us that kids who learn about the risks of drugs at home are 50 percent less likely to use them,” he said.

Kansans are urged to take part in National Drug Take Back Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, law enforcement agencies across across the state will be accepting unused prescription drugs for safe disposal. There are three drop off locations in the Wichita area:

  • The Sedgwick County Zoo, 5500 Zoo Boulevard in Wichita

  • The Sedgwick County’s household hazardous waste collection site at 801 Stillwell in Wichita

  • The Oaklawn Activity Center, 4900 S. Clifton
  • You can find the drop off site nearest to you by clicking the link below.

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