New Face Of Addiction In America

By Jane Velez-Mitchell

Addiction in America has a new face: prescription drugs. Last year, prescription drugs replaced heroin and cocaine as the leading cause of deadly overdoses. And celebrities are showing us that mixing prescription pills — the pills you may have in your home right now — could be just as deadly as shooting up heroin or snorting cocaine.

According to statistics from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there are some 20,000 drug-related deaths a year in the United States. Even more shocking than the deaths of all of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children is that drugs prescribed by a doctor — not bought off the streets — were the leading cause of fatal overdoses.

America, we need to wake up! A prescription written on a pad by a doctor does not equal safe. When prescribed responsibly, taken as directed and kept out of reach of children, painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds — any pill — can be a godsend to the people who need those drugs to live day-to-day. But all too often, those tablets intended for one particular patient get into the hands, the mouths, the bloodstreams of those just looking to get high.