Creekside Center for Integrative Medicine | 11416 Slater Ave NE | Suite 203B | Kirkland, Washington 98033 | phone (425) 644-6048

Addiction Medicine

Prescription Drug Abuse- A Statewide Epidemic

Everyone needs a wake up call now and then. Life is extremely busy and it's hard to keep up with the events in our own lives let alone the lives of others around us. If someone asked you if you know what the leading cause of accidental death is in our state, I'm pretty sure the majority, maybe all of you, would say no. Well seeing as this effects everyone either directly or indirectly maybe we need a bit of a wake up call. With a bit of knowledge maybe we can all do our part to make a difference. Most problems are solved by first creating awareness.

So what is the leading cause of accidental deaths in Washington State? Illegal Prescription Drug use. In 2007, 610 accidental deaths were caused by automobile accidents and 792 unintentional deaths due to drug overdoses. (Source: State Department of Health Center, Center for Statistics) Obviously this is an extremely high amount of people. The most common place that teens and adults get access to these Prescription Drugs are through friends or family, either by taking them without asking or by them being given to them. That is kind of shocking right?

If there is a will there is a way. If someone wants something they will find a way to get it. So what steps has the Government taken to help with this battle of illegal prescription drug use? Grants have been used in different programs to promote durg protection and prescription drug use. According to the official website of Washington State Attorney General, Attorney General McKenna uses funds from consumer protection settlements with drug manufacturers—including the makers of OxyContin.

Unwanted Medicine Return Program- Instead of flushing unwanted prescriptions or mixing them with cat litter or other suggested methods of disposal, an Unwanted Medicine Return Program is underway. Facilities are being created that you can drop off Unwanted prescriptions for safe disposal. No more exposing these drugs to the environment or allowing them to sit on a shelf waiting for someone to use them in a harmful manner.

Money has also been put towards the State of Washington Department of Health to create a drug monitoring program to prevent the “doctor shopping” that allows addicts to get access to dangerous drugs.

For millions, pain killers offer relief however it is important to be aware of the dangers these medications can still pose on the community. We can all play a part and it is nice to know that our state is trying to prevent the dangerous illegal use of prescription drug use. Do your part. Be aware, create awareness.
What's you're RxIQ? Take the RxIQ quiz on the Attorney General's official website.
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Creekside Center for Integrative Medicine | 11416 Slater Ave NE | Suite 203B | Kirkland, Washington | 98033 | phone 425.644.6048 | fax 425.641.2721
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