News Channel 10
Posted April 1, 2011

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ALBANY, N.Y.– A national campaign is warning families about the dangers of prescription drug abuse which the CDC lists as the fastest growing problem among 12 to 17-year-olds.

According to prevention advocates, more teens are going to emergency rooms for prescription drug abuse every weekend and ER visits for prescription drug abuse have more than doubled since 2004, 48 percent of those visits involve people 12 to 20 years old.

“You know everybody coming to a party and everybody brings a pill and puts it in a bowl, and you kind of just pick around,” said Ali Silber, senior at UAlbany. “It definitely doesn’t seem as dangerous as something you would get off the street.”

Studies show a prevailing attitude among young people that prescription drugs are sager than heroin or cocaine. Yet, prescription pills are now involved in more overdose deaths than both of those illicit drugs combined.

Parents and grandparents are often the unintentional suppliers of thrill seeking students. It’s as easy as opening up your medicine cabinet.

“They decide to sell the other ones that they have,” said Alexis Hauslet, senior at UAlbany. “We’re in college, extra money is always helpful.”

Spring break and end of semester celebrations are especially dangerous times.

“If you can’t go to Florida, or Mexico, or the ocean areas where there’s the big parties you still want to recreate that at home,” said Patty Kilgore, of Saratoga Co. Prevention Council. “And it’s a stress release.”

Prevention experts advise anyone with kids or young people visiting the house, to lock up your prescriptions and cough medications.

In order to properly dispose the prescription drugs, mix them with cat litter or coffee grounds before disposing of them and never flush them down the toilet.

You could also drop off your unused meds on April 30th at Saratoga Springs PBA on Weibel Avenue.