A drug abuse prevention summit in Portland, Oregon, brought to light the fact that the state of Oregon ranks fifth in the country for prescription drug abuse, and has the highest rate of prescription drug abuse among the 18 – 25 age group. This was shared in a feature on the Statesman Journal.
The summit, which was held Monday, gathered state and federal officials, as well as doctors, pharmacists, and members of law enforcement. Tom Condon, of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, shared various statistics related to drug abuse. He shared that based on datea from 2007, there were more deaths and injuries due to drugs versus motor vehicle accidents in 16 states and the district of Columbia.
He revealed further the results from a national survey conducted in 2009, which indicated that prescription drugs surpassed marijuana as the “gateway” drug for first-time users aged 12 and older. The source of prescription pills for most of these users were people they knew. Condon referred to the situation in Oregon as an “epidemic,” as he addressed the audience at the summit.
Among those who were present during the summit were Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger and U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. Holton served as the meeting’s organizer.
Oregon lawmakers have already approved a prescription drug monitoring program during its last session; the said program is expected to become operational by April. It will be web-based and may be accessed by doctors and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense prescription drugs.