Prescription Drug Abuse By Teens Soaring


"We have met the enemy -- and he is us." Pogo

The police have pinpointed the drug pushers who have infested our community -- and every day provide deadly drugs to our kids.

Odd are, they know where you live.

If you want a glimpse of the potential pusher in your neighborhood, go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. Then open it up and see if you've got any bottles of prescription drugs in there. Take note: that's were many children are getting their drugs

Turns out, one in five kids have abused prescription pain medication, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. A similar number used prescription stimulants and tranquilizers as recreational drugs.

Every day, another 2,500 teenagers nationwide abuse a prescription drug for the first time. As a result, hospital admissions for kids who have overdosed on prescription medications rose 300 percent between 1995 and 2005.

Of course, we the pushers have suffered our own toll. The nation is in the grip of a lethal drug epidemic -- with a 60 percent increase in fatal overdoses since 1999. That rise to 33,000 deaths has been driven by the deaths of white middle class adults who die mostly from the abuse of prescription opiate painkillers.

Payson police and school officials are rightly concerned about the trend, as detailed in today's paper. We applaud their effort to call attention to this danger stalking our community -- and also appreciate the courage of one student who came forward to talk about this largely hidden problem.

Now if only the pushers would take that trip into the bathroom -- look a long moment in the mirror -- and then clean out the cabinet.

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