Prescription Drugs: The Do's and Don'ts

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Doctors and law enforcement officials agree, there have been an increasing number of youth abusing prescription drugs.
But they say...It can be prevented.

It's a problem Alzo Preyear and other doctors across the Wiregrass have seen on the rise.

"The course of the last couple of months or year we have been seeing a rash of increased ingestion of medication that can be very harmful, " says Preyear.

"We've had many many sick kids in here that had been shipped to Birmingham because they've been so severely sick, " Ginny Register
Assistant Director of the Emergency Room at Flowers Hospital.

Accidental ingestion by younger children is also a problem but it doesn't have to be.

"Keep it up where they can't get it, be cautious about putting medications in your purse, your book bag, the diaper bag, " says Register.

"Don't refer to medication as being candy because kids, they'll think it's candy if you give them that impression, " says Preyear.

"This is preventable I mean I know accidents happen and we have children that are curious and they get into things but these are things we need to be mindful of when we have medications in the house with the children," says Register.

Dothan Police Department is also doing their part to minimize the abuse of prescription drugs, with their prescription drug take back program.

"We started a number of years ago in response to the growing trend where young people, particularly young people are obtaining prescription drugs to use for recreational purposes, " says Lieutenant Bubba Ott.

More than just harming themselves, there are other consequences.

"Individuals in possession can be charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance or possession of a prescription without having a valid prescription for that drug. It's bad enough for them but it also create a problem for the person who is prescribed the medicine who needs it, who no longer has it now, " says Ott.

"If you get a toxic dose of this medication you can end up with a life long problem, " says Preyear.

The Dothan Police Department collected over 500 pounds of prescription drugs on their last Take Back day.

Health officials recommend if your child ingests any prescription drugs, call Poison Control at 800 222 1222.

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