Prescription Drug Abuse Town Meeting

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Someone dies every ten days due to prescription drug abuse according to Butler County Coroner Jim Akers.

Thursday evening, Butler County and Poplar Bluff authorities met with community members at the Poplar Bluff Senior High School to talk about the issue.

The panel of members said people are seeing multiple doctors, and numerous pharmacies to get larger amount of drugs.

Jeff Rolland, Deputy Police Chief at the Poplar Bluff Police Department, said a recent investigation showed one woman was seeing 17 different doctors to get prescription medications.

Akers says the overdose fatalities are not usually accidents of mixing medications.

"It's not very often that I see that, for the most part its people trying to escape reality," said Akers. "Get away, they don't want to hurt themselves, they just don't want to feel bad anymore."

"This is a horrible addiction, so if we can prevent some of that, I think it's incumbent for us to make that effort," said Rolland.

"If you have questions what your child is doing, don't feel like you're being nosy, go ahead and ask those questions," said Chris Hon, the Poplar Bluff Schools Superintendent.

"It's important the public understands, this affects everyone in our community."

"I hope they realize it happens here, it's not something that happens somewhere else, it will happen to you," said Akers. "It's not one of those issues that oh that happens in big cities, or that happens somewhere else. It's happening here, and it's happening a lot."

Akers says prescription drug abuse is popular because people can easily get prescriptions from relatives' medicine cabinets, and because it doesn't have the same stigma as harder illegal drugs.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. You can give old or expired drugs to authorities to dispose of.

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