October 8th, 2012|
October 8, 2012
Surpassing auto accidents, unintentional overdoses of prescription pain medications have now become the leading cause of injury-related deaths in Ohio, reports The Plain Dealer.
At “skittles parties,” teens grab handfuls of prescription and over-the-counter pills from a bowl and swallow them. Such parties are part of an epidemic of opiate abuse in Ohio among teens, adults, and preteens.
While pills are “legal” when used appropriately by the person to whom they were prescribed, sharing them with others is a felony and can be deadly.
A supervisor with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the county’s Opiate Task Force said, “I [think that it is] crucial that people know how serious this is, because four people in Ohio die every day from opiate addiction. What we’ve also seen is that opiates have become a gateway drug to heroin. An 80 mg. Oxycontin pill can cost $80, but heroin is a lot cheaper.”
“This can happen to the kids you are pals with, the kids you might be coaching or teaching. It’s happening to regular kids, even those as young as sixth grade.”
And the health supervisor says that those kids start by thinking, “If this is a prescription from a doctor, how can it hurt me?”