Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at WauwatosaNow.com, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.
This is the first in a series of blogs addressing the abuse of prescription medications for non-medicinal purposes. This information comes to us courtesy of Officer Jason Weber who is the Community Liaison for the Town of Menasha PD and also sits on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association (WCPPA / www.wicrimeprevention.com).
Scanning -Identified problem
When people speak of drug abuse, one immediately thinks of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. However, people rarely think of the common drugs found in their homes and medicine cabinets. These pharmaceuticals typically are used for medicinal or “good” purposes; however we are starting to see an alarming trend of abuse of this medicine. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, nearly 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That’s more than the total number abusing cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other drugs – and the number has increased 80% in the past 6 years.
Prescription drug abuse cuts right across all sectors of the community: from young teens to the elderly, from high school students and college students to health professionals like doctors, nurses and veterinarians. It can affect the unemployed in economically depressed areas to the wealthiest of Hollywood celebrities.
People fail to realize the significant impact medications have on our body chemistry. When they are taken in a non-prescribed fashion outside that which is intended by the manufacturer, or in combination with other substances like alcohol, pharmaceuticals can be hazardous and even deadly! Prescription drug abuse and misuse has silently risen to become one of the most serious prevention issues in the country.