COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Today there is a pill for just about everything; which is why nearly four million prescriptions are filled in America every year.
Experts say it is those prescriptions that are fueling teen drug abuse across the nation.
From Adderall to Loratab, these powerful prescription drugs can be found in almost every home in America.
Abuse by teens make those prescription medications the second most used drug in the nation, second only to cocaine.
“We see a lot of abuse with teenagers in schools it’s no longer just street medication it’s a lot of prescription drugs,” says Chris Bonner.
In 2011, there were 173 overdose deaths in Mississippi. Ninety-five percent of those involved were prescription medicines.
Now, the Lowndes County Prevention Partnership Program is targeting parents to help spread the message.
Provision Specialist, Whitney Cox, says it’s an epidemic among teens.
“They can easily access these drugs they find them right at home in their medicine cabinets and unless a parent is monitoring how much they have in the bottle they never even know when they go missing,” says Whitney Cox.
Cox says clean out your medicine cabinet.
“Proper disposable of out of date medication is crucial,” says Bonner.
There are also some homemade solutions to get rid of the unwanted pills.
One way to safely dispose of old prescription pills is by finding an unwanted substance like coffee grains place the pills in a ziploc bag along with the coffee grains and throw it away.
“Something that would make people not want to take them out of the trash and use them. A lot of people simply flush them into the toilet and they don’t realize that it’s damaging to our water system and animals and anybody who can drink that,” says Cox.
Disposal is key to drug abuse prevention but the solution starts with talking to your children about not using the medications.
For more information about the program, call (662) 524-4347.