Local opioid misuse on the rise

poster_0a1afcc8f11e4412af39d8e14bfa7545.png

It’s a widespread epidemic that’s been gripping the country.

It’s a widespread epidemic that’s been gripping the country.

Every day, more than 115 people die from opioid overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

From August 2016 to August 2017, Texas has seen a nearly 4 percent increase in overdose deaths in one year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Opiod use in the Rio Grande Valley is following the national trend.

“Prescription drug abuse is something that we are seeing grow more and more commonly among students in high school and college,” said Irwin Mendoza, Regional Evaluator at Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, a nonprofit organization focused on drug addiction prevention and treatment.

One in 10 high school students report inappropriately using prescription drugs. Mendoza says Valley youth are misusing codeine, an over-the-counter cough medicine, followed by Xanax, an anti-anxiety prescription drug.

And he says accessing the medications is not very difficult in the area.

“Because of our proximity to Mexico, a lot of these medications can be obtained without a prescription by crossing the border,” said Mendoza.

But sometimes, teens don’t even have to travel to obtain illegal prescription drugs.

“Statistics show that 70 percent of those who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from friends and family,” said Mendoza. “A lot of the times we don’t notice if medication is missing from our medicine cabinet. “

Mendoza recommends that parents lock their medicine cabinet and avoid holding onto unused prescription drugs. Mendoza urges parents to properly dispose of their unwanted medication.

To find a list of a prescription drug drop-off location you can visit prc11.org

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 SAFETY TIPS

COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands"

COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing"

COVID Tip: Disinfecting

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Disinfecting"

COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth"

COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact"

COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas"

COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often"

ValleyCentral App Links

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Inside RGV Politics

More Inside RGV Politics
More Throwback Thursday