Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. An estimated seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s more than the number using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller chairs the statewide Rx Abuse Task Force, which brought shareholders from the law enforcement and medical community together to address the problem.
“For years there was a claim that there was too much pain being not addressed correctly, so it really launched this effort to prescribe more and more of these very powerful pain killers. The problem was they never really identified the types of pain that should be addressed. Long-term, chronic pain was never intended to be addressed by opiates because of the addictive quality,” said Zoeller.
Zoeller spoke at Friday’s Moving Starke County Forward drug symposium. He says drug take-back events which allow for safe disposal of unwanted prescription medications are critical when it comes to curbing the abuse problem. Both the Knox City Police Department and the Starke County Sheriff’s Office offer safe prescription drug disposal year-round.