CDC: Prescription drug abuse in America is an ‘epidemic’ - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CDC: Prescription drug abuse in America is an ‘epidemic’

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The chances someone you know is taking a prescription painkiller to get high are more likely than you think.

The numbers are stunning.

In 2008 the CDC found more people died from prescription painkiller overdoses than heroin, cocaine, car crashes and suicides combined.

York County All on Board Executive Director Bob Norwood described for WBTV the nationwide abuse when it comes to prescription pain pills.

"It's an epidemic and that's not my word, that's the CDC's in Atlanta word," said Norwood.  

All on Board works to prevent teens from alcohol and drug abuse and also educates the public about substance abuse.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2000 and 2010, the number of new prescription painkiller users increased by 104%, with more than 12 million people reporting their abuse.

That same year in the United States, the CDC found that nearly two million people reported the abuse of prescription narcotics, such as Vicodin or OxyContin, for the first time in what the CDC is now calling a national public epidemic.

The number of deaths from overdose of prescription painkillers is now greater than those from heroin, cocaine, motor vehicle accidents and suicides combined. 

"You can become addicted to a pain killer just because you're in the hospital for surgery. By the time you get through taking the pain medication, it's hard for you to get yourself winged back off of it," said Norwood.

That's where organizations like All on Board step in. Since 2009, the collation has collected over 2 million doses of unused prescription drugs, keeping the drugs out of hands they don't belong to.

"One of the top sources of prescription drugs for teens is their own parents' and grandparents' medicine cabinets," said Norwood. 

"That's one thing that our parents and grandparents can learn is that they need to get the medications out of the hands of these kids," he continued.

Norwood says dropping off unused pain pills to authorities could be the difference between a life of addiction and staying clean.  

York County All on Board has purchased seven permanent drop of boxes and placed them through York County to all citizens to dispose of the unwanted, unused and expired medicine throughout the year. These boxes can be found at the following locations:

  • Clover Police Department – 112 Bethel St., Clover, SC
  • Fort Mill Police Department – 111 Academy St., Fort Mill, SC
  • Rock Hill Police Department – 120 East Black St., Rock Hill, SC
  • Tega Cay Police Department – 7705 Tega Cay Dr., Tega Cay, SC
  • Winthrop Police Department – 526 Myrtle Dr., Rock Hill, SC
  • York County Sheriff's Office – Moss Justice Center-1675-2A York Highway, York, SC
  • York Police Department – 12 N. Roosevelt St., York, SC


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