Drawing by Chris Straughan
A Victim of Methadone Poisoning
Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse was formed to bring awareness to the public about the risks of addiction and fatalities, due to the abuse of prescription drugs. We are striving to change the perception that experimenting with prescription drugs for recreational purposes is safer than the use of illicit drugs.
Our focus is to reach out to people in the community to share our personal stories, utilize prevention education through science based facts, and provide a supportive role to those people whose lives have been affected by the abuse or misuse of prescription drugs. The mission we hope to accomplish by speaking to individuals and the medical community is to save lives.
Our Goal - Changing the Perception
The primary goal of MAPDA is to bring awareness to the dangers of prescription drugs and correct the misconceptions about their safety. There is a disturbing trend with a staggering statistic from the 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS): One out of four teens has admitted to taking a prescription drug not prescribed to them.
- More prescriptions are being written than ever before: There has been an increase of almost 50 percent in retail pharmacy prescriptions of the most frequently abused prescription drug class in the past decade-more than a quarter million in 2009.
- More people are dying from prescription drugs: There has been a nearly 300 percent increase in deaths from prescription opioids (pain medication) in less than a decade. Prescription drugs are now involved in more overdose deaths than heroin or cocaine combined.
- More teenagers are abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine combined. The misconception is that they believe they are safer than illegal drugs.
- The Center for Disease Control says the United States is in the grip of an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses. It is estimated that 30,000 people will die this year.
- The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy says the Administration has put the prescription painkiller epidemic at the top of its list of priorities.
What is driving this epidemic?
- Misconceptions about their safety. Because these medications are prescribed by doctors, many assume that they are safe to take under any circumstances. This is not the case: prescription drugs act directly or indirectly on the same brain systems affected by illicit drugs; thus their abuse carries substantial addiction liability and can lead to a variety of other adverse health effects.
- Increasing environmental availability. Between 1991 and 2009, prescriptions for opioid analgesics increased from about 45 million to approximately 180 million. Illegal diversion of pharmaceuticals has risen because of availability and high street value profit margin. A recent survey indicates over 70 percent of people got them from friends and relatives.
- Motivations for their abuse. Underlying reasons include: Experimentation to get high, to counter anxiety, relieve pain, or alleviate sleep problems.
The team at MAPDA recognizes the seriousness of this alarming information. Through our outreach programs we will strive to CHANGE THE PERCEPTION that prescription drugs are safer to use than illegal drugs, when abused. We will speak to groups of individuals to educate them of the real dangers backed by scientific research.
Topics in Brief; National Institute of Drug Abuse- December 2010. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website; Public Health Grand Rounds. The Partnership at Drugfree.org article April 29, 2011 by DEA Administrator, Michelle M. Leonhart.
News channel 3's Karen Devine brings to light the dangers of methadone and the tragic story of a mother who lost her son to an overdose of this powerful drug, and became a founder of MAPDA. View the article "Methadone One Pill Can Kill You"