Why lock the medicine cabinet?

Many parents and grandparents in the local area may not be aware, but they are literally supplying our local adolescents with their drugs of choice.

By Sherry Vogel

Current statistics are revealing that the illegal drug of choice, in the past few years, is not the “street drugs” that many people believe they are. In 2017, data shows that prescription medications are in vogue for a growing number of young addicts.

In 2008, 70% of the drugs listed in information gathered by the Drug Enforcement Administration indicated that cocaine, crack, marijuana, heroin and other street drugs make up 55% of total of drugs involved in their collection data. Prescription medications equaled 30% of the totals.

Studies in 2017 have seen the tables tip, 46% of the illegal drugs being used are street drugs while 54% are prescription medications. (Oxycontin and methadone alone account for 1/4 of that total.)

Teen prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in southeastern Montana as it is in areas across the country. In fact adolescents find it easy to acquire the drugs by simply helping themselves to relatives’ or family friends’ medication cabinets. Medications of choice are Vicodin, OxyContin, Demorol and various muscle relaxants, anti depressants such as Xxanac, and Valium. Other sought after pills are Ritalin, Adderall and even diet pills. If putting a lock on the med cabinet seems like over-kill maybe you might want to think again. Many recovering addicts have shared how they stole one or two pills from a variety of bottles as to go less detected. The danger then arises when adolescents begin combining pills that can lead to serious results and even death.

The “beer-bust” used to be the adolescent party of choice, but this has now been replaced with the “pharm party.”

Would you like to learn more about this serious drug dilemma? A dilemma that is no longer a big city problem but has touched our community of Baker as well?

Come to the screening of Chasing the Dragon, The Life of an opiate addict, that will be shown on Wednesday evening April 19, at 6 p.m. in the Longfellow gymnasium in Baker.

This presentation will conclude with a panel of professionals who will be available to answer all questions.

The program is sponsored by Eastern Montana Drug Force with Tracey Goerndt, Prevention Specialist facilitating the screening.

More information on this FBI/DEA Documentary video can be found at www.dea.gov/media/chasing-dragon.shtml.