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Your Medicine Cabinet Is A Battle Ground In The War On Drugs

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David Hale with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs David Hale with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
Prescription drugs are becoming the drug of choice for many. Prescription drugs are becoming the drug of choice for many.

By Latoya Silmon, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the state. 

You may be surprised to learn that a lot of drug users are finding their fix in your medicine cabinet or at the doctor's office. 

That's why experts say it's up to each of us to educate ourselves, because doing so could save a life. 

Every day the battle surges on.

"It's always been a problem in Oklahoma," said David Hale, OBNDD. 

But now the war on drugs may be even tougher to fight.  Prescription drugs are becoming the drug of choice for many.  

"They think they're all safe because prescription drugs are prescription drugs and doctors give them out to people so they should be fine.  Unfortunately, you can get combinations that will kill you. Kids are oblivious to that," said David Hale. 

According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, prescription drug abuse is the second largest drug problem in the country behind marijuana in terms of overall users. 

Six million people are chronically addicted to prescribed medication, with 87,000 of those cases in Oklahoma. 

Eight out of 10 calls from Oklahoma public schools related to drugs found on campus involve prescription medications taken from home. 

"They even call that fishing.  Because the kids will all raid the medicine cabinets put them in bowls and have parties that they don't know what they're taking," David Hale said. 

Then there is doctor shopping.  It is such a problem that Dr. Peter Rao, a psychiatrist in Tulsa says he feels more like a cop than a doctor sometimes.

"Unfortunately, I have to ask myself when somebody is saying they're having panic attacks or pain, how believable is this story, can I find out how to separate truth from what's false, said Dr. Peter Rao. 

The OBNDD has set up a database to that tracks those who doctor shop.  Dr. Rao says he often uses the OBNDD as a resource. 

As for parents the experts say you should hide your prescriptions and educate your kids.  Otherwise, they could end up dead or in a drug round up by law enforcement. 

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs say biker gangs and others are even selling prescription drugs on the streets.  They are easier to get and not as easy to detect like other drugs.

 

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