Officials say prescription drug abuse claims more lives than heroin and cocaine combined, affecting families nationwide including the Santa Clarita Valley.
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City of Santa Clarita officials are planning to host the Pills Kill: Prescription to Addiction Symposium on Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Activities Center in an effort to bring awareness to parents and teens about the dangers of prescription drug addiction, according to a press release.
“I think people should go because what a lot of people don’t know is that prescription drugs are the gateway (to other drugs), passing marijuana,” said Krissy McAfee, parent and board member for Action Family Foundation and the Santa Clarita Blue Ribbon Task Force. “Once these kids get addicted to (prescription drugs), they get addicted rather quickly, before they even know it.”
Prescription drugs are known as the “silent killer”, being extremely dangerous and easily addictive when misused or taken inappropriately, according to the press release.
“Prescription pill abuse is becoming more prevalent and has destroyed far too many of our Santa Clarita families,” stated Mayor Laurene Weste. “As a city, we believe the most effective tools we can use in the war on drugs are to provide information to our youth and parents in order to prevent drug abuse and keep families safe from the results of drug abuse and the devastation it causes.”
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A panel of experts including officials from law enforcement, the Hart District, and emergency room physician and a pharmacist will be leading the discussion, according to the press release. There will be a Resource Expo before the symposium with additional information, including addiction and recovery experts.
“80 percent of kids who become heroin addicts began with prescription pills, ” McAfee said. “They are so easy to get — mom’s and dad’s, grandma’s, friend’s medicine cabinets. I beleive it’s the most dangerous drug out there.”
The free symposium is open to the public and a live Spanish translation will be available.
“Every parent needs to go. If you have a child that is going to be in junior high, don’t miss this,” McAfee said. “The experimenting with drugs begins in seventh grade, marijuana or whatever, it really seems to start at that point.”
Source: Santa Clarita News