A study in the Pediatrics Journal has reported the use of prescriptions and controlled medications has nearly doubled among the nation's youth and young adults from previous years. Congresswoman Bono Mack (CA-45) highlights the expanding availability of strong narcotics, like OxyContin, and the perceptions that prescription medications are safer than street drugs as leading components to the increase in abuse.
"This new study highlights our ongoing need to address prescription drug abuse on all levels. Far too many Americans have the misconception that prescription drugs are "safer' because they're prescribed by a doctor, but the fact is that prescription drugs, when abused, can be just as addictive and as deadly as street drugs," stated Bono Mack. "Many of our young people are falling prey to the dangerous and highly addictive drug, OxyContin. It is making addicts out of America's future and costing too many young lives and that is why I introduced legislation, the Stop Oxy Abuse Act--we must strike a better balance to ensure that only those who actually need such a substance are the ones benefiting from it."
The OxyContin drug was originally intended to be prescribed only for severe pain to help individuals dealing with late stages of cancer and other severe illnesses. Bono Mack notes that more and more people are being prescribed this drug for less severe reasons, expanding the availability and potential for abuse of this strong narcotic.
"The FDA needs to focus on the root of the problem and do better to keep this drug out of the hands of those who don't need it -- especially our young people. I have seen firsthand how families are impacted by prescription drug abuse. We need to work together to help the victims and their families cope with this problem, which has no social, economic or geographic bounds," stated Bono Mack.