Ga. launches campaign targeting prescription drug abuse - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Ga. launches campaign targeting prescription drug abuse

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The Centers for Disease Control says that every 19 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies from a prescription drug overdose.  The state of Georgia is trying to do something about the problem, so they've just launched an awareness campaign focused on education and prevention.

FOX 5's Tacoma Perry talked to a local woman who says she was a successful working mom of three—who was also hooked on drugs.  She wants to remain anonymous, and says her addiction was a very big secret.  

"It was an escape for me," she said.  "It was to numb anything I was feeling or any of my problems.  I didn't have to cope with real life."

The drugs that helped her escape the pressures of life weren't narcotics like cocaine and heroine.   Instead, they were prescribed by her doctor.  

Dr. Gregg Raduka, who is with the Council on Alcohol and Drugs, says 21,000 Americans die every year from prescription drug overdoses.  He says it's now an epidemic, so they've launched the new campaign, which is called "Prescription Drug Abuse: It's Not What the Doctor Ordered."

"It affects everyone from pregnant moms to elementary schoolchildren to college students, to our military to soccer moms to the elderly," said Raduka.  

The campaign centers around the safe storage and disposal of prescription medicine.  In Georgia, safe disposal boxes are located in every county sheriff's office.   

The former abuser who told her story to FOX 5 says there also needs to be a crackdown on doctors who overprescribe medications to their patients.

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