In Los Angeles County, prescription drug overdoses are rising. According to the a new report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, three out of five drug-related deaths were due to prescription or over-the-counter drugs from 2000 to 2009. Prescription drug overdoses now account for more emergency room visits than any other cause.
As a whole, doctors in the county wrote 14 million prescriptions for narcotic or opioid painkillers, and some of those prescriptions ended up in the hands of teens. The report found that 11 percent of 9th graders and 14 percent of 11th graders admitted to abusing prescription drugs at least once. The number was even higher—37 percent—among teens who attend continuation schools, community day schools, and alternative high schools.
In the report, public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding urged the county to increase public awareness of the problem and take steps to provide information about prescription drugs in the schools. He also recommended educating families, instituting prescription drug “take-back” events, and finding more structured pain management programs for injured people.
If you or a loved one needs help for a substance abuse issue, we’re here for you. Email us or call us today: 1 888 671 9392.