Prescription abuse is on the rise in Dougherty County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prescription abuse is on the rise in Dougherty County

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October 18, 2007

Albany -- Celia Taylor has worked as a pharmacist for the past seven years and enjoys helping patients find relief. But she has also seen a rise in people using those same drugs for harm.

"The most popular, lately that we have seen are the pain medicines like the hydrocodones, vicodin, are common and xanax," said Taylor.

A problem that is not just limited to teens and young adults. "It's young teens, middle age and even the elderly have been on the rise. You would be surprised how wide spread it is," said Taylor.

"It's anybody and everybody; all parts of society are doing it. And its something that we have to get a grasp on," said Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit Commander, Major Derrell Smith.

Drug agents say part of the problem is how accessible prescribed drugs have become. "They're actually stealing prescription pads and writing their own prescriptions. We ask all our doctors if they are missing pads to please let us know," said Commander Smith.

But checks and balances are in place at most pharmacies to help prevent this from happening. "We do try to watch trends. If they are coming often, if the amount is questionable than we try to talk to the doctor to verify if it is a legitimate prescription," said Taylor.

Prescription abuse may give you a quick high, but the side effects can last a lifetime. "You don't know how you may react to it. The dose may not be correct for you. Everything is prescribed individually," said Taylor.

And it is those individuals abusing prescription drugs who make it harder for people who really need them to get their medicine.

Disposing of prescription drugs correctly will help curb drug abuse. You should never throw drugs out in there original container. It's best to crush old pills and mix it in with your regular trash.

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