LEE CO., GA (WALB) -
If you've got a prescription for hydrocodone, you can't get more than 90-pills at a time. The new federal restriction is aimed at cutting epidemic abuse of painkillers. When The Anchorage opened 61 years ago, most of the men they treated were alcoholics. Now prescription medicine is the big problem, especially with young and highly educated men.29 year old David Hatcher of Dothan, Alabama is celebrating his 59th day at the Anchorage. He admits he started using prescription pills in high school, and had no problem even then getting them.
Hatcher said "It was prevalent. All over the place. It wasn't hard."
Hatcher kept using loritabs and methadone while a student at the University of Alabama, and then grew out of control while working in his family's electronics business.
Hatcher said "I was stealing money. I was lying. We used to sell TV's, and I would go in the shop and take TV's. Sell it or give it to the dope man."
Anchorage officials say Hatcher's story is very common. And they are concerned the number of young people, high school students, getting hooked on prescription medication is epidemic.
Anchorage Clinical Director Dudley Thomas, Jr. said "Drugs that were getting into the school system, they ususally came from Mom and Dad's prescription medication. The medicine cabinet."
Anchorage officials say dozens of people are on their waiting list, seeking their Christian and clinical treatment, and growing.
Anchorage Executive Director Bob Lynch said "Maybe at one time it was Southwest Georgia. It's now all over the state. Florida, Alabama. It's a growing area."
Hatcher says he feels like a new man, sleeping and eating for the first time in years, as his recovery progresses.
Hatcher said "I'm determined to make it. I think I'll do great."
But he and Anchorage officials warn parents about the growing danger of prescription medication use by young people.
The Anchorage receives no government funding. They say their budget is extremely tight as calls for help grow.
If you would like to donate, call their ministry at 435-5692, or you can link to them here.