The Senate is taking an aggressive approach to combating the nation’s fastest growing epidemic; Prescription drug abuse.   As Myteensavers has been relaying to parents, more kids are turning to the medicine cabinet than they are the needle.

Yesterday, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on crime and terrorism, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, announced that prescription drug “abuse poses a serious and growing threat to our communities and young people.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH spoke yesterday about the troubles in his state: “Prescription-drug abuse in Ohio — and our nation — needs to be treated like the epidemic it is,” Brown said. “From the policies to the stories, it’s clear prescription-drug abuse is nonpartisan. It’s clear it is an issue of life or death in too many parts of our nation, especially Ohio.”

Brown promoted a bill that he said would prevent prescription-drug abusers from acquiring excess drugs — which they might abuse or illegally-resell.    This legislation already exists in 20 states.

Gov. John Kasich signed a “pill mill” bill on Friday, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has gone after those abusing drug prescriptions.

Brown’s office says Ohio is second only to Florida in the number of oxycodone prescriptions filled, and Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug poisoning skyrockets 350% from 1999 to 2008.

In 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing motor-vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the panel that the pills were popular because they were easy to get and there was a “low perception of risk.”

Last month, the White House announced plans to crack down on prescription-drug abuse, including putting a priority.

This serves as a reminder for parents to drug test their kids.   A Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit can be a life-saving device in the home.

 

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