Report: Prescription Pill-Popping High in Hoosier State

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February 25, 2014 — More Indiana residents are more likely to have an addiction to prescription pills than almost any other state.

A new government report says Indiana has the nation’s fifth highest rate of prescription drug abuse.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health finds prescription drug abuse among people age 12 and older is higher in Indiana than in any other U.S. state except Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Idaho.

Dr. Howard Mell with American College of Emergency Physicians says families can follow five essential prevention strategies:

  • Monitor your medications — both the prescription drugs and the over the counter meds — at home and if you carry them with you in a purse or briefcase.
  • Store medicines out of sight; consider locking them up or storing them in an unlikely place.
  • Safely dispose of old or unused medications, even the expired ones.
  • Be alert to the symptoms of prescription drug addiction.
  • If you have kids in your life, talk to them about prescription drug abuse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports 6.1 million Americans abuse or misuse prescription drugs. Overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999; they now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined.

By: Lakeshore Public Media Staff


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