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Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Ounce of Prevention ()
Date: May 16, 2013 07:56AM

Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
The Unified Prevention Coalition has partnered with the Fairfax County Police Department for an annual "medicine cabinet clean-out" which aims to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse in the county.
http://fallschurch.patch.com/articles/prescription-drug-abuse-on-the-rise-in-fairfax-county-officials-say-638fdd96

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Fairfax County and a handful of local organizations are working to put a stop to what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has classified as an epidemic.

Prescription drug abuse is a different problem compared to others in the county, due to its reach and rate of expansion, said Amy Reif, health sector coordinator for the Unified Prevention Coalition (UPC) of Fairfax County, who spoke with reporters Tuesday at the Mason District Governmental Center in Annandale.

According to statistics from UPC, there were 51 drug/poison deaths in Fairfax County in 2011 and deaths by prescription drugs such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone than by cocaine and heroin.

In an effort to curb the problem the UPC has partnered with the Fairfax County Police Department to host the sixth annual Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout Monday, May 27 through Saturday, June 1. It is the goal of UPC to educate and raise awareness about prescription drug abuse through the clean-out, which is part of National Prevention Week.

More than 70 percent of people who abuse a prescription drug obtain it from a family member or a friend often without their knowledge from medicine cabinets, according to Reif, compared to 5 percent of those who abuse prescription drugs who get them from the traditional drug dealer.

“This epidemic is easily preventable when the community takes simple, appropriate steps such as educating themselves and family on the dangers of abusing prescription drugs such as addiction, overdose, accidental poisoning and death,” said Reif.

Residents are encouraged to drop off unused or expired medications at one of the six police stations in Fairfax County at any time during the clean-out event.

Increased awareness and education now rather than later can help young adults like Caitlin Acosta, who struggled with prescription drug addiction.

Acosta, 24, of Falls Church, is a recovering prescription drug addict who was charged with a felony at age 12 after school officials found a bottle of Percocet in her backpack at school.

“I just wanted to do something that would make me feel different,” said Acosta, who described herself as feeling “uncomfortable, not cool enough, not pretty enough” in middle school.

Following her conviction, Acosta spent the next several years experimenting with prescription drugs, primarily oxycontin, and took xanax, abused alcohol and smoked marijuana before she sought help. She told her parents and with their support, was able to get clean by age 21.

“It’s a miracle that I’m healthy and alive and happy,” said Acosta.

In high school, Acosta noticed kids would sell Adderall and Ritalin around exam time to help focus, a trend that Fairfax County police officers say they are monitoring closely as it becomes a nationwide problem.

Sergeant James Cox, with the organized crime and narcotics division of the Fairfax County Police Department said officers see sales of prescription drugs throughout the year on school campuses from the middle school level up through the college level, not just during exam time.

“It’s a huge nationwide problem, not just Fairfax County,” said Cox.

However, Cox noted that there is an increase around exam time because kids discuss the effects the drugs have on studying with each other.

Cox said the kids who are legally prescribed drugs by a doctor sell them to make money or they’re trying to help out a friend. Many times, parents are in denial of their child’s problem, especially if the child is well-adjusted or has shown no previous signs of behavioral problems, said Cox. It’s up to adults, Cox said, to be the ones to tell kids about the consequences of prescription drug use.

“We have to start changing the way we do things,” said Cox. “You have to take that medicine cabinet out of the bathroom. Get rid of those pills.”

Parents are often in denial when police go to them about good kids taking prescription drugs.

“Kids just don’t think in terms [of consequences][. It’s our job to elevate the conversation to a certain level, to talk about the hazards of prescription drug abuse,” said George Young, a UPC board member and senior clinician for National Counseling Group, Inc.

The sixth annual Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout is sponsored by the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County in collaboration with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, local pharmacies and the Fairfax County government departments of Health, Police, Public Works and Environmental Services, Office of Public Private Partnerships, and Channel 16.

As part of the cleanout, UPC will also distribute a prescription fact card for parents with helpful information about prescription drug abuse and how to avoid it.

To learn more about the cleanout and more information about how to safely dispose of medications outside of the cleanout dates, visit www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org

Caitlin Acosta, 24, of Falls Church, discusses her experience with prescription drug use and From left to right: Amy Reif, health sector coordinator with the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County, Caitlin Acosta, 24, of Falls Church, Sergeant James Cox with the Fairfax County Police Department’s Organized Crime and Narcotics, and George Young, senior clinician for National Counseling Group, Inc., board member of Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax Coalition talk to reporters at an event in Annandale Tuesday. Credit Sherell Williams

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Ounce of Prevention ()
Date: May 16, 2013 07:57AM

Caitlin Acosta, 24, of Falls Church, discusses her experience with prescription drug use and From left to right: Amy Reif, health sector coordinator with the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County, Caitlin Acosta, 24, of Falls Church, Sergeant James Cox with the Fairfax County Police Department’s Organized Crime and Narcotics, and George Young, senior clinician for National Counseling Group, Inc., board member of Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax Coalition talk to reporters at an event in Annandale Tuesday. Credit Sherell Williams
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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: nope saying no ()
Date: May 16, 2013 08:05AM

Kind of hot

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Sassy ()
Date: May 16, 2013 08:45AM

I thought o too,

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Big Brother ()
Date: May 16, 2013 10:24AM

Doesn't Virginia keep tabs on must drug prescriptions?

The database was hacked once.

Privacy no longer exists, guys.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: The Hard Truth ()
Date: May 16, 2013 11:47AM

Like OP's article said this a nationwide problem, and no one seems to want to talk about it. It's particularly worse in the heartland where the crime associated with opiod abuse is similar to the crime associated with crack. One aspect unique to prescription drug abuse are the pharmacy robberies which are happening at an increasing pace.

Opioid abuse is on par with meth and crack addiction in terms of dependency and physical effects, yet these drugs are somehow "legal". THC (marijuana), MDMA (ecstasy), Psilocybin (mushrooms), and LSD (acid) are far less addictive and physically damaging yet they remain illegal. The reason being that pharmaceutical companies make a large profit off of prescripition drugs, and much like the tobbaco industry, wield an powerful influence in Congress. They operate under a logic, again very similar to the tobacco industry in that, the more people they have hooked on their product, the more revenue they generate.

Big pharma and their lobbyists also play a big role on the continued illegality of the aforementioned drugs. "Above The Influence", a widely-known anti-marijuana use campaign is funded by big pharma, and to a lesser extent by alcohol and tobacco companies. They have strong interest in the continued prohibition or "War On Drugs" and have been a major funder of groups supporting it.

Interstingly enough, marijuana legalization has been seen as a "threat" to the pharma, alcohol, and tobacco lobbies and they are behind some of the most vocal opponents. Ironic considering that their products are far more dangerous than than most of the drugs made illegal in the early part of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the RX abuse problem will only grow until we tell our congressmen to stop accepting big pharma kickbacks and address this issue head on.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: they are watching ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:00PM

Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program
Description of Program
The prescription monitoring program collects prescription data for Schedule II-IV drugs into a central database which can then be used by limited authorized users to assist in deterring the illegitimate use of prescription drugs. The information collected in this program is maintained by the Department of Health Professions, and strict security and confidentiality measures are enforced. Only those persons authorized by law can be provided information from the database, and the list of authorized persons is very limited. Prescribers and dispensers may query the database to assist in determining treatment history and to rule out the possibility that a patient is "doctor shopping" or "scamming" in order to obtain controlled substances.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: twelve ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:00PM

Started at 12 - wow. Guess its time to have the talk with the 11 and 10 yr. olds in my house. Adolescence is a challenging time hate to think of kids taking xanax or percs to feel better.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: more BS fear-mongering ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:03PM

This is not news. Prescription drug abuse is always on the rise. As baby boomers get old there's more and more of this shit around. So yeah, you might as well blame the fucking baby boomers for fucking everything up. All the social and economic problems currently plaguing our once beautiful country can be traced back to the fucking baby boomers - never before has there been such a bunch of worthless selfish sycophants.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: odd advice ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:09PM

So, I clean out my medicine cabinet so my dis don't take my meds???

I guess I should hide all the knives so they don't stab anyone?

I should certainly keep no money in my purse so my ids can't steal from me?

Great advice, guys.

How about you raise your kids with values and self esteem so you don't have to worry about all these other problems.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: because ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:13PM

odd advice Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, I clean out my medicine cabinet so my dis
> don't take my meds???
>
> I guess I should hide all the knives so they don't
> stab anyone?
>
> I should certainly keep no money in my purse so my
> ids can't steal from me?
>
> Great advice, guys.
>
> How about you raise your kids with values and self
> esteem so you don't have to worry about all these
> other problems.

'...because 'good' kids from 'good' families never get in trouble. If I were you sir I would start shopping rehab facilities for your kids now.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: boomered ()
Date: May 16, 2013 12:23PM

odd advice Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, I clean out my medicine cabinet so my dis
> don't take my meds???
>
> I guess I should hide all the knives so they don't
> stab anyone?
>
> I should certainly keep no money in my purse so my
> ids can't steal from me?
>
> Great advice, guys.
>
> How about you raise your kids with values and self
> esteem so you don't have to worry about all these
> other problems.

also, because baby boomers are too selfish and lazy to do this.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Two Cents ()
Date: May 16, 2013 03:16PM

twelve Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Started at 12 - wow. Guess its time to have the
> talk with the 11 and 10 yr. olds in my house.
> Adolescence is a challenging time hate to think of
> kids taking xanax or percs to feel better.

I'm afraid for alot of teens this is the easiest way of dealing with the stresses they go through each day.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Sodo ()
Date: May 16, 2013 03:42PM

Either way, she is still hot.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: percoman ()
Date: May 16, 2013 03:55PM

nothing like a percocet and a glass of wine to take the edge off

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: katiesmith ()
Date: May 16, 2013 06:55PM

Good work, helicopter parents...pressuring your kids so much they end up becoming druggies.


"Acosta noticed kids would sell Adderall and Ritalin around exam time to help focus, a trend that Fairfax County police officers say they are monitoring closely as it becomes a nationwide problem".

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Dr Bombay ()
Date: May 16, 2013 07:28PM

Let's admit it, the little fatties could afford to lose some weight.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Hubby's ()
Date: May 17, 2013 09:10PM

katiesmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good work, helicopter parents...pressuring your
> kids so much they end up becoming druggies.
>
>
> "Acosta noticed kids would sell Adderall and
> Ritalin around exam time to help focus, a trend
> that Fairfax County police officers say they are
> monitoring closely as it becomes a nationwide
> problem".

Anyone married to you must take drugs.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: lisam1120 ()
Date: May 18, 2013 05:22PM

I've been taking the same pain medication for the past 6 yrs after having 4 major back surgeries with constant ongoing issues. Last month the pharmacist informed me that the medication I take is going to he hard to find soon becausethe Government is planning on placing restriction on how much can be sold during a one month time frame for each pharmacy. Basically its going to be first come first serve . Once the allotted amount is sold a patient will have to wait until the next shipment is due in, which could be days or weeks. From what I understand this restriction on amounts sold is State wide. So in other words you may have to travel into Maryland or DC if Virginia has sold they're allotted amount. This is going to cause many people to go into a forced withdrawl if they are not able to fill they're prescription simply because the Government is trying to stop the abuse of pain meds. They are going to cause problems for people who are taking meds, legally and as prescribed just to TRY to stop the abusers and in the end..... We are the ones who will suffer.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Priapus ()
Date: May 18, 2013 07:51PM

lisam1120 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've been taking the same pain medication for the
> past 6 yrs after having 4 major back surgeries
> with constant ongoing issues. Last month the
> pharmacist informed me that the medication I take
> is going to he hard to find soon becausethe
> Government is planning on placing restriction on
> how much can be sold during a one month time frame
> for each pharmacy. Basically its going to be
> first come first serve . Once the allotted amount
> is sold a patient will have to wait until the next
> shipment is due in, which could be days or weeks.
> From what I understand this restriction on amounts
> sold is State wide. So in other words you may have
> to travel into Maryland or DC if Virginia has sold
> they're allotted amount. This is going to cause
> many people to go into a forced withdrawl if they
> are not able to fill they're prescription simply
> because the Government is trying to stop the
> abuse of pain meds. They are going to cause
> problems for people who are taking meds, legally
> and as prescribed just to TRY to stop the abusers
> and in the end..... We are the ones who will
> suffer.


Why can't you use Canadian pharmacies if you have a prescription? Or Mexican or even Indian?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2013 06:33AM by Priapus.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: jacob75 ()
Date: May 19, 2013 01:35AM

lisam1120 - what do you take for pain medicine? I also take meds for pain daily Percocet and dilaudid. ive been on them for years and haavent herd of any crackdown like you mention. The meds have been a lifesaver for the amount of pain im in. couldn't imagine being put on a limit.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
Posted by: Book ()
Date: May 19, 2013 01:17PM

Instead of adults stressing to their kids EVERYDAY about doing drugs, they should just talk to them once about it and talk to them about the cons of perscription drugs. Naturally a kid is going to get curious and want to try it out if the parent keeps stressing about it.

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
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Date: April 06, 2023 09:10PM

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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
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Re: Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Fairfax County, Officials Say
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Date: April 10, 2023 12:09AM

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