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Prescription Drug Addiction Is No Laughing Matter
After he was arrested recently, a Crestview, FL, teenager with a serious pill problem told police that he broke into an empty house while the owner was out of town, consumed the owner’s prescription pain killers he found in the medicine cabinet, and spent two days watching TV and laughing. Somebody needs to sit this kid down and show him Florida’s horrific prescription drug death statistics, and wake him up to the fact that prescription drug addiction is no laughing matter.
When the owner returned from her business trip and found the TV tuned to the Sci-Fi Channel, which she never watches, she knew someone had been in her house. Then when she found her Lortab prescription gone, and her telephone records revealed incoming and outgoing calls to a local number that she recognized, she knew who had burglarized her house — an 18-year-old boy with a known prescription drug addiction.
She called the cops, and told them that the suspected teenager “had an addiction problem with pills.” Officers arrested the 18-year-old, and charged him with burglary and petty theft.
According to the police report, the youngster confessed that he entered the house through a window, turned on the lights and the TV, and after half an hour called his mother to tell her that he had found a place to stay for the night. Later on, the report says, he got bored, looked for drugs, and found the Lortab prescription.
The suspect told police that because of his prescription drug addiction, he took approximately 15 Lortab pills over a 2-day period — which could be as much as double a normal dose — while he “spent the two days watching TV and laughing.”
Lortab is an opioid pain killer containing hydrocodone, a heroin-like substance implicated in thousands of cases of prescription drug addiction, dangerous withdrawal problems, hundreds of deaths in Florida and thousands across the country.
Prescription drug addiction, injuries, and deaths from overdoses and lethal drug combinations are routinely traced to teenagers and young adults stealing prescriptions from parents, friends, relatives and, as in this case, even neighbors. Anyone can be the target of a prescription theft if they store their drugs in a medicine cabinet, out on a table, or in drawer, where anyone can find them.
We have two messages here, and both are vital preventive measures that can help end prescription drug addiction and probably save some lives:
1. Lock up or hide your prescriptions.
2. If you are the parent or guardian of a teen or young adult, pass on to them the serious dangers of prescription drug addiction.
This young man was lucky to only be arrested for petty theft. He could have been discovered by the returning home owner stone cold dead, like movie star Heath Ledger, and thousands of others who have lost their lives to prescription drug addiction.
It’s not too late for this youngster to get on the road to recovery, with a medical drug detox if needed, followed by a drug rehab program and a new life with a real future.
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