Pill Problems

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Pill Problems

Youngstown Vindicator – Parents and grand- parents: Wake up. Count your pain pills. Then lock them up.

If you are a capsule or two short at the end of the month, you unwittingly may have helped start your child or grandchild or their friends down the path to prescription-drug abuse or addiction, health officials say.

Prescription-drug abuse and addiction is epidemic in the Mahoning Valley and across the state and nation. Many teens and young adults feed their habit by stealing drugs from the people closest to them — their families.

Next to marijuana, prescription drugs are the country’s most-abused substances involving those 12 and older, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, sedatives such as Xanax or Valium, and stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall are most-often abused, said Kenneth Michael Hale, Ph.D., assistant dean and clinical associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.

“We know that about 7,000 people in this country every day start abusing one of these drugs for the first time. About 2,500 of those are teens, 70 percent of whom get the drugs from family or friends,” Hale said.

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