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Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton discusses Prescription Diversion

pill_bottle_and_pills1Prescription diversion has been an epidemic in much of the United States in the past several years. This is not surprising as there is a cycle that seems to occur among substance abusers.

One of the major problems with prescription diversion is that young people often see these drugs as “safer” than the common street drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine, because at some point they were prescribed by a doctor. The truth is, when prescription medications are used for purposes other than prescribed, they can be just as deadly as any street drug. In fact, they are often more deadly when abused.

According to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, almost 85% of the victims of fatal drug overdoses in recent years have been caused by prescription drugs. This has certainly been what we at the Sheriff’s Office have seen to be true.

It is important that parents understand the dangers facing our young people today. I have often asked parents if they ever made a mistake as a teenager. Very few of us could claim otherwise. When it comes to prescription drugs, a youthful mistake can quickly claim the life of a young person.

There are some things parents can do to help protect their children from the dangers of prescription drugs and their abuse. Parents should educate themselves about the types of prescription drugs that young people are abusing. Then share that information with others who may be in contact with their children such as school administrators, counselors, coaches, youth ministers, etc.

Parents should always communicate with their children. If we don’t tell our own children the truth, who will? Don’t be afraid to speak honestly with your child. The best form of prevention is often having a good line of communication with your child. Find out if they see others abusing drugs. Use the opportunity to educate your child on ways to make good decisions.

Never leave prescription medications where they can be easily accessible to young people. Young people are curious by nature. As a parent or grandparent, take an inventory of any prescription medication in your home. Keep it out of reach and out of site. Make sure you monitor the amounts to see that none is missing.

It is important that we teach our young people the truth about prescription drugs. They should know that these drugs can be just as deadly as any street drug. Especially if taken with alcohol or other prescription drugs. The combinations can be deadly!

Always take an active role in keeping your child safe and informed about making the right choices. No one is in a better position to protect your child than you are.

This information is meant to help you, as a parent, to be aware of the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Odds are, your teenager is aware of someone who is already abusing prescription medication. It is my hope that this information will help you protect your loved ones.

If you would like more information please feel free to speak to us at the Sheriff’s Office. If you would like to have us come speak to a youth group, please let us know. Our interest is in keeping you and your family safe. or (706) 896-4444.

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Posted in GA-Towns County, Regional News

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