Once it was cocaine, speed or heroin, but now the fashion is for legal pills, washed down by an alcoholic beverage. The trend of misuse of over-the-counter pills is killing 20,000 people a year, nearly twice as many as 10 years ago. Dependence on legal drugs is not a new problem.
During the Civil War, morphine abuse was labeled as “the soldier’s disease.” A few years ago, OxyContin, an extremely powerful painkiller developed for cancer patients, became known as “hillbilly heroin” after an epidemic of abuse took root in poor rural communities. The painkiller Fentanyl can act like heroin and traffickers get hold of supplies by forging stolen prescriptions, breaking into pharmacies and stealing stocks of it. Many are known to buy the drug from people that it is prescribed to.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 49.8 million Americans over the age of 12 have reported non-medical use of illicit drugs. Dr. Howard Markel, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said, “Americans love to get pills for everything that ails them. The misuse of those drugs has become one of the major health problems of our time.
Well, chief, what do we do?
First, destroy all drugs in your home that are old or not needed any longer. Second, lock all your medications in a safe place. Third, if you have an addiction, talk to your doctor and they will help you get professional assistance. Finally, if you know of any drug trafficking of prescribed medication, please contact your Olney Police Department with any solid leads. Working together, we can win the war on drugs.