Prescription Drug Abuse Forum Held in Buckhannon - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Prescription Drug Abuse Forum Held in Buckhannon

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Last month, the city of Buckhannon addressed its methamphetamine problem among residents, and now, officials are tackling one of its catalysts: prescription drugs.

Law enforcement officers, state representatives, and community members set out to address the issue of prescription drug use at a town-hall style meeting on Tuesday night, thanks to a SUCCESS/BHHF state grant that funds substance abuse prevention.

"When they're that desperate, they'll do just about anything," said Lieutenant Doug Loudin of the Buckhannon Police Department.

For Lt. Loudin, the reality of prescription drug use among the city's youth is a scary one.

"Juveniles are going into pharmacies, shoplifting Mucinex pills, packages, and they're consuming those with an energy drink, and it causes hallucinations," said Loudin.

From toxic combinations to "Pharm" parties, members from the Upshur County Sheriff's Department, senior center, and others set out on Tuesday to spread awareness about this growing epidemic.

"Last year, we had 566 meth labs in West Virginia. Kanawha County led the state. Upshur County was fourth," said Delegate Bill Hamilton.

In order to help prevent the problem, officials encouraged residents to dispose of their old prescriptions properly.

"It's difficult for seniors to dispose of their prescriptions, and it's very dangerous for them," said Joyce Harris-Thacker of the Upshur County Family Resource Network.

"Turn the prescriptions back into the pharmacies, to where they can destroy them, or we get a court order and we destroy those," said Loudin.

Or residents can destroy their prescriptions using a device called a medication disposal system.

"You put the little packet, you put the pills in, and you fill it up with water, and you put the cap on it, it solidifies, and you throw it away," said Harris-Thacker.

The Family Resource Network, which sponsored the event, handed out the medication disposal systems to residents at the meeting.

The UCARE Coalition of Substance Abuse Prevention also sponsored the event.