Mon October 17, 2011
Prescription drug abuse reaches epidemic levels
This Friday the U-S Attorney's Office will host a first-of-its-kind Prescription Drug Summit. It is an effort to educate the public about the growing problem of prescription drug abuse that is now an epidemic in this region.
A Buffalo family is trying to recover from the devastation that occurred in their home this past June related to prescription drug abuse.
"Michael committed suicide on June 4th in our home while my wife and I were less than 20-feet away from him. This event, that morning have changed my life forever," said 59-year-old Avi Israel.
Israel blames his son's death on a mix of prescription drugs he was taking to treat a sever case Crohn's disease. The medicines were prescribed by various doctors.
"Michael had a medically and socially sanctioned addiction. Michael was prescribed opiate and psychotropic drugs without any kind of supervision or control nor was he or us, his parents, ever informed of the serve consequences of a long term use of those drugs," said Israel.
Israel urges that physicians and pharmacies work together to cross-reference and safe guard the amounts and types of medication patients are taking.
Meanwhile out on the streets Buffalo D-E-A agent in charge Dale Kasprzyk said drug dealers are using similar types of pain relievers to sell to abusers.
"What they're telling us, the DEA, is more than half of their undercover buys right now are for prescription drugs -- Oxycodone, Lortabs, Opanen and Phentol.
This Friday seminar is dubbed a "Call to Action". It will feature a multi-disciplinary discussion to focus on the prescription drug abuse epidemic. It will include addiction treatment centers and two pharacy schools from UB and D'Youville.
The day-long event takes place at UB's Center for the Arts.