NaturalNews – July 19, 2011
by J. D. Heyes
No parent wants to lose a child, but when one dies from something that should be very preventable, the heartbreak and tragedy is compounded. Such is increasingly the case with prescription drugs – they’re killing our youth.
Sarah Shay and Savannah Kissick, of Morehead, Ky., best friends since high school, were both victims of what experts and the White House are describing as an epidemic of prescription drug deaths. Sarah died in 2006 at the tender age of 19; Savannah just three years later, at 22.
Since the medications they were using were prescribed by physicians, some experts believe they carry some sort of legitimacy. But the fact is they are being abused by young people just the same as drugs that are illegal – more so even, in some cases.
Drugs like Xanax, Oxycodone, Klonopin and Hydrocodone are routinely being abused more and more in Kentucky in particular, but in other parts of the nation too, by teenagers and young adults. So bad is the problem that the state has set up rehabilitation centers, where a huge number of addicts – more all the time – are being treated.
So bad is the addition that some kids have even turned to crime to feed it.
“I believe I can safely say that over 80 percent of the inmates in the Pike County regional detention center are in there for something dealing with their addiction to prescription drugs,” Dan Smoot, director of law enforcement with an organization called Unite – a new and innovative counterdrug that combines police investigations, treatment and education.
“A number of national studies and published reports indicate that the intentional abuse of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives, to get high is a growing concern — particularly among teens — in the United States. In fact, among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug behind marijuana,” said the study, called, “Teens and Prescription Drugs.”
“Though overall teen drug use is down nationwide and the percentage of teens abusing prescription drugs is still relatively low compared to marijuana use, there are troubling signs that teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs and parents are unaware of the problem,” it said.