The misuse of prescription pills among adolescents has been on the rise in New Jersey, and experts are speaking out about its link to heroin addiction.
A special state task force is scheduled to address the problem at Daytop New Jersey, a drug treatment center for adolescents, in Mendham.
Death from prescription drugs tripled between 2000 and 2008, according to national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, national data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that the number of teens dying from heroin abuse has skyrocketed. In 1999, 198 people between the ages of 15 and 24 died of a heroin overdose, compared to 510 deaths in 2009, the latest year data was taken.
The underlying problem, say experts, is the ease of accessing prescription pills such as Percocet’s, Oxycodone, and Vicodin from emergency rooms, dentist offices, and especially unfinished prescriptions in household medicine cabinets.