Prescription drugs abuse and addictions on the rise - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Prescription drugs abuse and addictions on the rise


Prescription drugs are readily available and in some cases according to drug counselors even deadly at times.

The Fellowship House in Anna, Illinois is just one of the many agencies in Southern Illinois that helps people with their drug and alcohol addictions.

And the clinical supervisor at The Fellowship House says prescription drug abuse and addiction is increasing.

"The prescription drug use that we've seen especially over the course of the last five years has grown tremendously," said Marcy McFadden. "I would say in the last quarter we've had probably seventy-five percent of our patients have had an opioid addiction."

Opioids are drugs like morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. But McFadden says the addictions to prescription drugs are much more wide spread then just opioid.

"Another one that we're also seeing, and it's increasing greatly is your benzodiazepines use," McFadden said. "Those are the drugs that are prescribed for anxiety issues, like Ativan, Xanax and some of those."

It's not only adults who are abusing pills and other drugs. So are many teenagers and young adults.

"It's getting really bad. And you see it everyday and outside of school people are talking about it," said Monica Brescia of Anna. And a Sophomore at Anna High School. "People are saying we should go get high this weekend. Or after school, or even during school like during the lunch break."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100 people die everyday in our nation from drug overdoses.

And the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, the State of Illinois reported a 98-percent increase over a five year period between 2004 and 2009, in emergency room visits due to misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

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