Rx for prevention
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Rx for Prevention. Rx for Prevention. Prescription Drug Abuse a presentation by:. Special Thanks to: Geralyn Brennan & Karen LaPointe & Jill Dale Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH) Sondra Storm Drug Free Communities Coordinator. What to Expect:. 2. 3. 4. 1. The Facts.

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Rx for Prevention

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Rx for Prevention

Rx for Prevention

Prescription Drug Abuse

a presentation by:

Special Thanks to:

Geralyn Brennan & Karen LaPointe & Jill Dale

Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH)

Sondra Storm

Drug Free Communities Coordinator

What to Expect:





The Facts

Commonly Abused Rx Drugs

Impact of Rx Drugs

What you can do

Test your Knowledge!Between 2001 and 2007 the number of unintentional poisoning deaths increased:

25 Percent

50 Percent

100 Percent

150 Percent

Data Source: Injury in Oregon Annual Report, 2009

Test your Knowledge!Answer:

D. 150 Percent.

An increase from 144 deaths in 2001 to 363 deaths in 2007. 95 percent of unintentional poisoning deaths are due to drugs and medicines. (About 344 unintentional poisoning deaths from drugs or medicines in 2007)

Data Source: Injury in Oregon Annual Report, 2009

Test your Knowledge!The poisoning mortality rate is highest for which age group:

12 to 17 years

18 to 24 years

25 to 34 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

55 to 64 years

65 or older

Data Source: Oregon Public Health CD Summary, September 29, 2009

Test your Knowledge!Answer:

12 to 17 years

18 to 24 years

25 to 34 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

55 to 64 years

65 or older

Data Source: Oregon Public Health CD Summary, September 29, 2009

Test Your Knowledge:

Injuries are a leading cause of death in Oregon. Match the number of injury deaths with the correct cause, in the table below

Data Source: Injury in Oregon Annual Report, 2009

Test Your Knowledge:

Were you correct?

Data Source: Injury in Oregon Annual Report, 2009

A Rising Concern-Nationally

One in 10 high school seniors has mis-used

Vicodin in the the past year

Rx drugs are the most commonly abused drug among

12-13 year-olds

There are just as many new abusers of Rx drugs as there are for marijuana.

OxyContin use by 8th graders doubled in last 4 years

Rx Data: True or False?

Every day 2500 kids in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs for the first time.

9 out of 10 people who have drug/alcohol problems started using as a teen

Oregon State is ranked #4 in the country for prescription drug abuse

Where do teens get Rx Drugs?



Source: SAMHSA 2008

“Available Everywhere”

Three in five teens say Rx pain relievers are easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets

Half of teens say they’re easy to get through someone’s prescriptions

More than half say Rx pain relievers are “available everywhere.”

Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America

Prescription Drug Abuse Kills

Drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental deaths for Oregonians, 25 to 64 years of age

The Impact

Data Source: Oregon Public Health CD Summary, September 29, 2009

Test your Knowledge!Scientists in the Pacific Northwest have found:

Hormones from medicines in lakes and streams

Medicines in the Columbia River

Medicines in the treated wastewater being discharged to local waters

All of the above

Test your Knowledge!Answer:

All of the above

As you’ve learned from our quiz, prescription drug abuse affects things we all care about:

Protecting our environment,

Safe Community, and

Healthy individuals and families.

Trends in Oregon

Oregonians have high rates of nonmedical use of pain relievers compared to the U.S.

Rates of use have increased for adults

Rates of use among youth have not changed much since 2001

Non-Medical Use of Pain Relievers,In Oregon and the United States

Data Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2007-2008

Trends among Oregon Youth

Prescription drugs are one of the top 5 substances used by youth to get high in the past 30 days

About one in sixteen 11th graders

About one in fifty 8th graders

Rates have not changed much since 2001

Oregon Youth who Used Prescription Drugs (without doctor's orders) to Get High, 2001-2010

Data Sources: Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, 2001-2009, Oregon Student Wellness Survey, 2010

Non-Medical Use of Pain Relievers in Oregon, by Age Category

Data Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 to 2008

Past Month Substance Use Among Oregon Youth

Data Source: Oregon Student Wellness Survey, 2010

Commonly Abused Drugs




DXM/Cough Syrup

Pain Relievers

Opioids similar to morphine and heroin – Vicodin and Oxycontin are two examples

Users get feeling of euphoria

Medicines can be misused by being crushed and snorted

Some users may transition to heroin

Heroin substitutes, such as methadone

Rx tranquilizers/sedatives

Prescription medications that act as central nervous system depressants. Sedatives are “sleeping pills” and benzodiazepines are "tranquilizers.“

Can be prescribed for acute anxiety, tension and sleep disorders and panic attacks.

When abused, they are swallowed or injected.

Rx Stimulants

Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are in same drug category as cocaine methamphetamine

Prescribed for attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. When used as prescribed, can reduce risk of drug addiction.

Misused as a “study” drug.

Published reports of parents permitting / providing these drugs to kids.

Medicines with ‘DXM’

Some over-the-counter cough and cold medicines contain “dextromethorphan,” or DXM

Medicines are widely available – significant potential for abuse. Abusers take extremely large doses (bottles at a time.)

Signs and Symptoms

Pain relievers: Symptoms


Slurred speech

Constricted pupils

Shallow breathing


Decreased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate


Decreased sexual interest/activity


Stimulants: Symptoms

Loss of appetite / weight loss

Inability to sleep / restlessness

Feelings of hostility, distorted thinking, or paranoia

Irregular heartbeat or heart failure

Increased heart rate/blood pressure

Dangerously High Body Temperature



Dependence and Tolerance

Sedatives: Symptoms


Slowed Breathing


Reduced attention span

Resembles alcohol intoxication



Very Dangerous when mixed with Alcohol

Cough Medicine

Dilated pupils




High blood pressure

Hot and cold flashes

Psychotic episodes



Rx Abuse and Development

Besides infancy, puberty is a period of rapid growth and brain development.

Rx drug use can impair brain

development with no chance

of recovery of lost functions.

Drug use during development can decrease memory, school performance and test scores.

Brain Development

Brain development

95% of the brain develops by age 6, with completion of the final 5% by age

Frontal lobe is last to develop.


Frontal Lobe is responsible for: impulse control, judgment, planning, goal setting and predicting consequences.

Why teens use:

  • Easy to get from friends or at home

  • Seen as safer than other drugs, less stigma

  • Friends are doing it

  • Escape problems or self-medicate

  • Parents are less aware of dangers

    or less likely to disapprove

It’s safer to abuse Rx drugs than illicit drugs, even if they’re not prescribed by a doctor.

Rx drugs have fewer side effects and are not as addictive.

It’s okay to share

Rx Myths:

Pill Taking Society

Rx medications are all around us; teens notice.

Patients leave the doctor with a prescription in-hand 7 out of 10 visits.

Direct-to-consumer advertising on TV and in magazines.

Rx Abuse:

“A Sticky Situation”

How to reduce Rx Abuse

Educate About:

Safe use, storage and disposal of drugs,

Not sharing, borrowing or selling unused drugs under any circumstances, and

Maintaining control of prescriptions to prevent diversion.

When Talking about Rx Drugs:

“Denormalize” the behavior

  • While 1 in 5 teens are abusing Rx drugs, 4 in 5 are not.

    Debunk common myths

  • Just as dangerous and addictive as other substances; even “occasional use”

    Determine rules and boundaries

  • Set safety guidelines and controls in your home.

  • Be aware of your own behaviors, attitudes, and language around Rx use.

Keeping Rx meds Safe:

Monitor all prescription and OTC medicines.

Safely Store and Secure medicines

Out of children’s reach and sight.

Consider locking them up.

Safely Dispose of old or

unused medicines.

Reduce Access: Safe Disposal

Throwing Rx drugs in the garbage is not safe:

  • Crime around stealing, using, and selling Rx drugs has increased

  • Drugs can be obtained illegally from your trash

  • Drugs that go into the toilet end up in our drinking water

Safe Medicine Return

You can take unwanted controlled meds to safe disposal sites at Law Enforcement offices around the state.

For details visit:


Who Can Make a Difference?

Who Influenced You?

  • Parents

  • Grandparents, aunts/uncles, others

  • Teachers/Coaches

  • Friends/peers

  • School administrators

  • Guidance counselors

  • School nurses

  • School resource officers

  • Community-based healthcare professionals

If you are concerned:

If you are concerned that someone you care about might be abusing Rx drugs…

  • School Nurse, Doctor, Prevention/Intervention Specialist or Addictions Treatment Counselor

  • WWW.SAMHSA.gov

  • Find a Treatment facility near you


Resources Online:







Sources Used:

  • Office on National Drug Control Policy, “Prescription for Danger: A report on the troubling trend of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among the nation’s teens”. January 2008.

  • Partnership for a Drug Free America. Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS). 2006.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health” (NHSDUH). 2008.

  • SAMHSA , “Monitoring the Future Survey” (MTF). 2008

  • Injury in Oregon Annual Report, 2009

  • Oregon Public Health CD Summary, September 29, 2009

Thank You!

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