Most parents are unaware of both how common prescription medicine abuse has become in high schools across America, and how easy it is for young people to acquire pills in their own homes and classrooms.
In a few weeks, a powerful new opioid painkiller called Zohydro is expected to hit the market. Zohydro's easily crushed capsules will contain up to 50 milligrams of pure hydrocodone, 10 times more hydrocodone than a regular Vicodin. One capsule will pack enough to kill a child.
When I was wholly honest about my sobriety and in unbearable pain, I couldn't actually get any relief -- or even on the phone with the doctor to explain myself. In other words, because of the fact that I'd told the truth, I'd been characterized as a scheming addict.
The Obama administration has adopted a mainstream approach to the drug problem, employing a balance of public health and safety approaches to reduce drug use and its consequences. All of these policies are grounded in science and research -- not politics or ideology.
Two important public health policy matters that require the attention of policy makers seem to be constantly in tension with one another: the under-treatment of chronic pain and the abuse of prescription medications.
Americans are becoming more dependent on drugs, despite years -- decades -- of our War on Drugs. Somehow, confiscating marijuana, cocaine, and illicit painkillers has not reversed our addictive proclivities.