The Unspoken Problem

West Virginia has been struggling with one of the worst drug abuse problems in the country for some time. One mother decided to do whatever it took to prevent other mothers from suffering the loss she went through. In 2008, her only son overdosed on fentanyl – a very strong painkiller – and died in the hospital three weeks before his twentieth birthday. 

Even though she and others in the community had known there was a problem with opiate overdoses, no one wanted to talk about it. That ended when Ms. Rhodes lost her son. She created a foundation to raise funds to prevent the same kind tragedy befalling other West Virginians. 

Since 1990, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose has tripled. On average, 46 people die from prescription drug overdoses each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Abuse of prescription drugs is a difficult problem to tackle because the substances are legal and thought of as therapeutic, not harmful. Obviously there are times when pain medication is needed. The problem arises when it is taken longer than needed, taken in a different manner than prescribed or used by someone who doesn’t need it. 

Any individual being prescribed a painkiller can prevent these problems by learning about the effects of any drugs they are prescribed, including its potential to harm or be addictive. Further, any leftover pills should be properly destroyed or dropped off at drug drug-off events held in many communities across the country.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy shows that deaths from prescription drug abuse have been declining. In 2012, the number of prescription drug-related deaths dropped 5% which is a start in the right direction. 

Narconon offers free drug education materials on the signs of drug abuse for all drugs. Below, you’ll find a list of the signs of prescription drug abuse. Please call us for free drug educational materials. And if anyone you know is struggling with drug addiction, we would be happy to help you.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse:

  • Groggy or disoriented at odd times of day
  • Driving long distances for medication or to see doctors
  • Medication missing
  • Over-exaggerating pain
  • Frequent incidents that require painkillers
  • Irritable, accusative or confrontational
  • Decline in grades or appearance
  • Dropping hobbies, activities or friends