Part I: The Severity Of Prescription Drug Abuse
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The Centers for Disease Control has deemed abuse of this drug to be the fastest growing drug problem in the country. In fact, one died every 19 minutes from unintentional overdose in 2007. No, it's not Heroin or Meth. It’s prescription drugs. This is Part One of "Prescription Drug Abuse, America's Epidemic."
Pharmacist Kurt Hefner treats patients from young to those in the golden years. When it comes to age, there are no boundaries, but the same could be said for prescription drug abuse as well.
Hefner says, "unfortunately the young people are susceptible and we have some elderly patients also taking prescription medication and become addicted to those."
He says the most commonly abused medication comes from the opiate family…"which would include codeine, Hydrocodon and Oxycodon."
According to a recent study, the number of Americans taking prescription medication without medical need has increased by 75 percent from 2002 to 2010.
"I think people become unexpectedly addicted. They don't realize how dangerous these drugs are,” adds Hefner.
But who's to blame?
"Some people have addictive personalities. So really it's a complex. Certain things go into it. I think some for some people it's the physician. I think it's a culmination of personalities, addictive personalities and physicians that are too easy to prescribe,” adds Hefner.
Dalana Baxter, an outpatient counselor at the Walker Center tells us, it can be a challenge for some addicts to admit they have a problem with prescription drug abuse versus the illicit drugs.
Baxter adds, "the statements they say to me are at least I’m not doing meth. But a stimulant is a stimulant."
Another challenge facing the so–called Generation RX.