Addiction to Prescription Drugs Haunts Ohio
Portsmouth is an industrial town in Ohio which was once famous for its steel and shoes. But today, Portsmouth is in the news for all the wrong reasons. It is grabbing the headlines for being home to high rates of painkiller abuse. And, many of the victims are heart-breakingly young.
Babies Test Positive
About 10% of babies in this county were found to test positive for drugs last year. This year, police nabbed many school students with prescription painkillers. The Department of Health reveals that fatal overdoses of prescription drugs have been rising rapidly in Ohio. In fact, in 2007, painkiller overdose was the main reason for accidental deaths, surpassing car crashes.
Governments Announce Plans
This severe problem has forced Ohio Governor John Kasich to announce a $36 million package to combat prescription drug abuse. Recently, the Obama government also revealed plans to tackle painkiller addiction nationwide.
Dismal Scene in Ohio
The dismal scene in Ohio is startling to resemble the busted cities in the 1980s when young people were brought up by grandparents, as their parents were too addicted. Today, these young people themselves are addicts. Ohio police says they are seeing the fourth generation of painkiller abusers today.
Ohio lawmakers plan to strictly regulate clinics which prescribe painkillers and other addictive drugs. A painkiller named OxyContin is the most popular medication among addicts. The extent of drug addiction can be gauged by the fact that business firms are finding it difficult to hire new employees as most job candidates fail drug tests.
Citizens Sell Drugs
Health experts say most parents have kids who are addicted. Most young people obtain the drugs from dealers and those who have prescriptions. Many otherwise law abiding citizens have taken to selling prescription drugs to boost their meager income. Some people blame the decline of industrial towns for the boom in prescription drug abuse.
Concerted Action Required
Affected families have started taking action. Mothers of children who died due to addiction are starting to protest outside clinics believed to provide prescriptions recklessly. Health authorities have also started to crack down on doctors and clinics that illegally disburse prescription painkillers. Experts say the need of the hour is a combined effort by federal, state and local police.