Combating Prescription Drug Abuse - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Combating Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted: Updated:

It is a problem across the country and now prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Knox County.

Gerald Roberts, Abingdon's Chief of Police, says prescription drug abuse is especially increasing among youth in the area.

"The county itself and the area altogether, we've had a lot of problems with drugs and we've cracked down on a lot of the other drugs so they turn to the easier stuff," he said.

The most commonly abused medications include things like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Xanax, painkillers and anti-anxiety meds with high street values.

"Your parents have extra stuff. Grandparents have extra stuff around the house and these kids have realized that basically they can abuse it and get high off of it," Roberts said.

But he and other Knox County officials want to throw away that extra stuff by holding prescription drug drop off events like the one held Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Abingdon, IL.

People were asked to bring in their old and unused prescription medication to be thrown away properly by their local police department.

Last week was national Drug Take Back Day, and communities across the country hosted these events.

Tina Gummerson, Knox County's Substance Abuse Coalition Drug Coordinator, says the one held in Galesburg last week had a great turnout.

"We had some that were from the year 2000. I think our oldest one was from 1997. So you know people have these prescription medications that are just lying around and don't know what to do with them," she said.

More than 30 pounds of pills were dropped off. That's double what they took in last year.

"The more that we take in of unused or expired medication then that's less for the kids to have or be able to come in contact with on the streets or at home. So we feel like we're helping save lives," Roberts said.

It is a mission that's far from finished. The county plans to hold more drop off events in the future.

Powered by WorldNow