The dangers associated with prescription drug abuse were brought to light in 2007 when a 24 year old man and a 13 year old girl overdosed within a spell of three months. Since then abuse of Rx drugs has reached alarming proportions. It is high time that the government pays special attention to the issue or else the loss that the country is sure to face in terms of youth potentials, is beyond imagination.
Inland Rep Mary Bono Mack told the members of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee that the nation’s domestic drug policy should give emphasis on the problem of prescription drug abuse – a problem which is growing beyond proportions. “Just because it’s sitting in the medicine cabinet doesn’t mean its safe,” she said before the subcommittee that had approved legislation that would create a commission to assess the effectiveness of U.S. counter-narcotics efforts.
The members of the legislation agreed to what Bono Mack said. Subcommittee Chairman Elliot Engel said, “For too long our country has been overly focused on the supply side of the drug trade, while paying far too little attention to what happens here at home.”
Bono Mack’s own son, Chesare is a recovering addict who first started taking Oxycontin, a painkiller, after the death of his father, former entertainer and Inland Rep. Sonny Bono. Chesare’s Oxycontin addiction later escalated to heroin addiction. This transition from prescription drugs to heroin is a common feature amongst this population.
A special drug-diversion unit is being formed by the Montana Department of Justice to fight against the growing problem in the state. The special unit will be funded by a $ 1.2 million stimulus grant through the U.S. Department of Justice. The team will comprise of six members – three investigators, a public outreach and education co-ordinator, a prosecutor and an administrative assistant. Their approach will include prevention, law enforcement and treatment.