PDT Staff Writer
According to a report from the New York Daily News, former president Bill Clinton declared war on prescription drug abuse Monday. As a result, the Clinton Foundation has vowed to cut the number of over dose deaths over the next five years.
“We have lost the balance between the legitimate use of pain medicine and the systematic abuse or misuse of it,” Clinton was quoted as saying. “This is insane to have the brightest of our young people dropping out under conditions of which their addiction has not been treated or their abuse is out of ignorance,”
According to the Daily News, the Clinton Foundation initiative is especially aimed at 18- to 26-year-olds who abuse prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin or stimulants such as Adderall.
Lisa Roberts, Public Health Nurse with the Portsmouth City Health Department said the war on prescription drug abuse has been one the area has fought for years.
“I’m glad to see people like Bill Clinton getting involved with this. I saw him in November on CNN talking about how he has been affected by this issue. He had some really good friends that had lost a son to prescription drug abuse. This sparked his interest and discovered this big problem going on,” Roberts said. “We need high profile people like him to step-up and raise awareness.”
It was recently announced by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services that Scioto County was the leader in the state in prescription drug deaths in 2011 with 25 deaths compared to 22 the year before.
State officials sited that in 2011 House Bill (H.B.) 93 was signed into law regulating pain clinics throughout Ohio calling it a first and critical step.
Throughout the state the percent of increase in deaths ties to opioid drug over doses in 2011 was cut in half from 2010.
“Those statistics heroin deaths, they have not broke those figures down yet. When they break them down, I suspect we will see our prescription overdose deaths have declined,” Roberts said. “We found out the other day there were 2 million less pain pills consumed in Scioto County. So, we’re down by 2 million pain pills, we should see the results of that.”
Some of the strategies the state has implemented to combat against this issue include a Naloxone education and distribution program in Scioto County and placing drug drop off boxes around the state as a way for people to safely dispose of prescription drugs.
For more information about the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services visit, www.odadas.state.oh.us/public.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.