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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Georgia Summit On Prescription Drugs

The days of picturing drug addicts as bottom of the barrel street junkies have long since passed, the new picture is one that no one would have ever guessed and the pusher is in many cases the family doctor. As more and more people succumb to the menacing grip of prescription narcotic addiction, experts are trying to figure out how to curb this epidemic of epic proportions. Across the country the rise in prescription drug-related deaths over the past four decades has been tenfold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Georgia is one state in particular that has struggled the hardest with prescription drugs, according to Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, six times more people died from prescription drug overdoses in 2009 than from all other illegal drugs.

This week, at Georgia State University a summit on Prescription Drug Abuse was held because of the growing number of people struggling with prescription narcotic addiction in the state of Georgia and across the country. "People just don't realize the danger of prescription drugs," Yates said. "They have a false sense of security." The drugs most commonly associated with overdoses in Georgia were:
  • Xanax
  • methadone
  • hydrocodone
  • oxycodone
While many people lose their lives every day from prescription drugs there is a mass of people living on the edge. According to the CDC, for every overdose death recorded, there are 35 emergency room visits and 161 people reporting abuse and dependence on prescription drugs. With numbers like that, it is hard not to think of the costs associated with those visits to the E.R., which puts a huge stress on a state's economy. Most of the time the drugs people are taking are supplied by a friend or family member, but, many addicts will shop around for doctors who will supply them without much screening at all. Law enforcement can only do so much, the best thing that state officials can do is work to educate their citizens about the dangers of prescription drug use and the severe potential for addiction which often is a lifetime battle.

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