Mississippi is no exception in the growing opioid abuse problem - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi is no exception in the growing opioid abuse problem

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

If your doctor writes the prescription, it can't be that dangerous, right? Wrong.

Prescription pain pills are opioids and potentially addictive, but Mississippi ranks 5th in the nation for writing the prescriptions.

"It's an epidemic nationally, so Mississippi's not the only state that's having a problem with opioids or prescription drugs," explained Daisy Carter, Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the Central Mississippi area.

Pill popping is causing such problems that this week has been dubbed Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.  

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said Mississippi has some back stops in place like a drug monitoring program that would flag folks who are doctor shopping for prescriptions. 

"You have to treat those prescription drugs as opioids as elicit drugs that are purchased off the street and not from a physician," said Carter.

Mississippi Children's Home Services said sometimes the problem is access to family member's unused pills.

"If you're not working with these children when they are adolescents and giving them the preventive care that they need, their likelihood of continuing and moving into those harder drugs more than doubles as they get older," noted Heather Stathem, Mississippi Children's Home Services Day Treatment Lead. 

Many in the addiction field say the crackdown on prescription pain pills has led to the increased heroin use. Heroin is cheaper and easier to get, but creates a similar high.

"Now that we have an increase in opioid abuse, we will have an increase in heroin abuse here in Mississippi," added Carter.

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