You Can Help Save Lives! Seeking Families to Tell Medicine Abuse Stories

At The Partnership at Drugfree.org, we know that the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications is one of the biggest public health problems in the United States today. In fact, every day, 2,000 teens use a prescription drug to get high for the first time.

This year, we are introducing “The Medicine Abuse Project,” a multi-year effort to raise awareness and curb the abuse of medicine by teens and young adults. Launching the week of September 23-29, 2012, the campaign will encourage and help parents and the public-at-large to help manage this problem, working toward the common goal of preventing 500,000 teens from abusing medicine within the next five years.

We need your help. Has your family been affected by prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse? Has your teenager or another relative struggled with the misuse or abuse of medication? We want to hear from you.

Email us your story so that we can share it, potentially on our website and in the media, as part of the awareness campaign. By sharing your experience with others, you could help us take a substantial step toward stopping this deadly epidemic.

Visit The Medicine Abuse Project online to learn more about the campaign and other ways you can get involved.

19 Responses to You Can Help Save Lives! Seeking Families to Tell Medicine Abuse Stories

  1. Lisa Shiffert | July 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I lost my son in Nov. of 2010 to a methadone overdose he was only 19 years old. He was a kind, loving, happy young man. Would do anything for anyone, unfortunately he got caught up in taking pills. I have a benefit in his memory, and raise money for the high school he attended for drug awareness, last year we rasied $4,000 and it all went to the school, I am having another one this year in hopes we can make it grow bigger and teach awareness to the young children out there that think prescription drugs can’t kill. My heart goes out to all the parents that had to endure this sadness of losing a child.

  2. gin | July 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to tell you my story, my son Scott,32,died of an accidental prescription overdose Nov.05,2008. During his short life, Scott was an outstanding son. He was loved by countless people and had so much potential. The best way that I know to honor my son’s legacy is to raise awareness about overdose prevention each person who is lost to overdose is likely to be someone’s cherished child, sibling, parent or friend. Saving lives should always take priority over punishing behavior.Mothers must speak out with courage and determination Moms can again be effective in calling for widespread drug policy reform, in order to stop the devastating loss of lives. As a Mother I seek to alter what we know must be changed. I believe that we mothers are the silent majority. It is taking our kids from us!. Mothers must speak out with courage and determination to promote policies of harm reduction and restoration for the sake of our children and the future of the next generation.

  3. Cathy | Treatment Talk | August 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Thank you for spreading the word on this important campaign that will save lives. Awareness is the key and we all need to do our part to educate our teens.

  4. malgorzata Harvat | August 8, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I lost my loving son Michal G. on june 30 2012 to accidental prescription drug overdose, drugs prescribe by his doctor. Michal was 30 years old with big plans on fighting bullies in schools.
    Stop doctors from giving drugs like they are candies,You took a oat to save lives not take them away.

  5. GB | August 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I found out from my, barely 20 year old, son that he is and has been smoking oxycotin for the past three-four years. He lives out, staying with whoever will let him crash. He has no job, no car, barely any clothes, and it doesn’t seem to bother him. He has stolen, and sold anything and everything of value to him. He confessed everything to me, which I thought was an effort to get clean. But, he does not think rehab is what he needs. I have done research in my area and I have resources for him to contact when he is ready. So, I wait each day to get that call. I carry the information with me everywhere. I just pray that I get that call before I get the call that he has died. A friend of mine lost her son (19) to a heroine overdose. He started with oxy. My son was his friend. He has not gotten scared straight. I am thinking about having him involuntarily committed. It may not help, but I can’t sit waiting for the next, inevitable outcome. He has so much potential. I reassure him everyday how much I love him, but I know that he has to make the decision to get well.

  6. Peter | August 10, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Drugs are crucially destroying our generation brainstorm. So we have to unity for stop over use of drugs.

  7. Victoria | August 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I lost my one son of four boys, and stand to lose yet another, his younger brother. This new generation of drugs (Pharmas, heroine and more) is taking the lives of so many great people!! I’m beyond broken and angry.
    My son has been to more funerals than I have been in my life. These pharma drugs have KIDNAPPED my son(s) and led them to believe we did not love them! These drugs protect like body guards, and will not let family near. They justify they are young and indispensable. They forget how much they did and do more which leads to overdose. My son’s drug friends hid this from us, and later left him to die for fear of getting caught, ONE WAS A MOM!! (also drug addict)
    I have been called every name in the book, lied to, accused of drug use myself (?!), physically attacked and even blamed FOR EVERYTHING! I have to constantly remind myself to separate this horrible addict from the loved one.
    Thank you Partnership for Drug Free…I am here to help expose these pharmaceutical abuses. Any chance I get I to publically speak on this subject, as a parent who knew nothing about finding resources, I am there!

  8. Lori | August 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    My daughter became hooked on painkillers after being prescribed them for a pain condition. After 15 years, I started going to her doctor, and was prescribed them too. It was a quick descent from that back to heroin, because the pills never lasted long enough. We both got well again, but so many others have died. So glad we were not statistics of this epidemic.

  9. Nathan Langley | August 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    A close friend of mine who quickly became addicted to prescription drugs. It started with being in an accident and being prescribed to pain killers. Once his cycle was over, he became reliant on prescription drugs and would go to any extent to get them. Mostly stealing through his families medicine cabinets, unfortunately it was hard for them to initially notice the small quantities missing at a time. His problem quickly escalated, eventually leading to checking into a rehab facility several times. Fortunately, he was able to overcome his past addictions and has since become a Drug Counselor. As unfortunate as this story may be, we are thankful to have not lost him. Many are not that lucky.

    Since then I am co-founder of The Locking Cap (www.thelockingcap.com). A combination locking cap for prescription pill bottles to prevent unauthorized users from access. I am not writing this to pitch the product to anyone, but to only gain support from this community. If anybody who reads this is a part of any similar communities please comment and I would love to be in contact. Also who ever is in charge of this movement don’t hesitate to contact me directly with the email I provided. This is a large issue and I am happy see communities like this taking a proactive approach to this unfortunate epidemic.

    • sanjy | September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      A locking cap is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of and will not prevent anyone who wants the drugs to just take the bottle and break it to get the contents. I am a recovering addict and I can tell you that when you want some drugs, and you can see them, nothing is going to stop you from getting into them!

  10. madison | September 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Hi my name is madison i am 16 years old and am currently an addict since my brain surgeies and pain in my head i have been taking vicodin oxy cotin methadone percocet and pretty much anything to realive the pain im sure every one knows how hard it is to get off of them i need some support thanks

    • Michael | September 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Madison, I’am Michael i’am a addict. I’am litter older,58 so i have been around. You have a futer and life to live. I had tried everthing possible myself but seem to always fail with all my great ways. I always though i was differant and if i could just stop using and not have to go through all that pain i would be able to do it. Well just more of the same old thing only my life started getting crazy.Went in out of rehab. prison, turned to methadone it would get better for a minute because i didn’t have to spend all day chasing drugs around to get out of pain.I had to quit doing things my way because they just didn’t work out. I had to get real with myself. Waking up ever morning sick was getting really old and so was i. You can do it, i will tell you just look around and see how many old junkies you see. You can contact me anytime.

      • Beth Mosher | October 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        Michael,
        Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have struggled with a lot in your life. I applaud your strength to share your story and support. Just remember you’re never to old to keep on trying to change your life for the better.

    • Beth Mosher | October 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Madison,
      You’re so young and have so much ahead of you. I’m sure you’re frustrated and scared. Do you have support at home? I’m sure there are a lot of resources at this website for you as well. Just remember there is hope for changing your life. It will be difficult but it’s definately doable. Your experiences can help others and you can live a life free of addiction. Seek the help you need and don’t give up. Prayers going your way!

  11. Victoria | September 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    When I was 15 years old, I found out my dad was an addict. He would be eating dinner and suddenly fall asleep and drop his food all over the place. He lost well over 50 lbs. He was angry all the time, or at least when he wasn’t sleeping. He stopped going to work, and he stopped coming home. But one time, I came home to my father holding a gun to his head. His face was green, and he was shaking really bad. I begged him not to do it, I needed him. At the time I lived with him and his girlfriend, who unfortunately, were both addicted to Vicodin and other pain medicine. After 10 minutes of screaming and begging, my neighbor came over and helped me get the gun from him. It took 2 years and a lot of counseling after this for my dad to finally clean up… but I can proudly say that he is sober now and hasn’t taken a single pill since.

  12. Nicole | September 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I almost lost my 13 year old son on September 21 2012 due to him taking an accidental overdose on my prescribed xanex. I never would have thought my son would ever take my pills, my world came crashing down that Friday night as he was taken to the er by ambulance.After release from the er I got no sleep that morning as I had to stand by his side and wake him up every hour on the hour to make sure he would wake up and his heart didn’t stop beating from having so much xanex in his system. It’s every mother’s nightmare and mine cametrue that night, no parent wants to think that this could be their child. My heart is still crushed to know my son could have died that night/morning, I no longer keep my pills in my house they are locked inside my mother’s house. Please parents become aware to the warning signs of this abuse, before its too late and you have to learn the way I did and many others!!

  13. Beth Mosher | October 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    My family has been devasted by prescription drug abuse currently affecting two family members. There was a third family member that died from an accidental overdose on September 15, 2010. I am a registered nurse and see first how many prescriptions are written for patients. I often wonder how many will lives will become devastated by these medications. I would love to contribute to this project in any way that would help spread the message and prevent heartbreak for families experiencing this tragedy.

  14. anonymous | January 16, 2013 at 3:00 am

    I once had a very bad problem with drugs. It all started when i was 10 years old. My friends would bring pills to school. I never new what they were, i just took them. I started smoking cigarettes at that age too. I never became addicted to anything at that time. When i was 12 I started smoking pot and continued to take pills occasionally. I would take whatever i could find. Oxycontin, xanex, lortabs, cold medicine, etc. When i was 15 i met someone who just gave me lortab and morphine pills. This went on for over a year and progressed into me taking 5 of each every morning and continuing to take them throughout the day. I would be almost in a coma at school because i would stay up all night taking the pills. One day my friend told me he couldn’t get them anymore. After three days of having nothing i couldn’t take the withdraws anymore. I told my parents everything. They already could tell but didn’t say anything because they weren’t sure. I told them i needed help, that i didnt want to be addicted to them anymore. It was taking over my life completely. It was all i cared about. It was wearing out my body, and ruining my thought process. I was at one of the worst points of my life. So they sent me to a detox clinic. I stayed there for a week so all the drugs could get out of my system. When i go home i stay sober for a while. But shorty after i relapse. I had i job so i could start paying for pills. When i lost my job i started stealing money out of my parents safe. I ended up taking $450 from them. When they found out they called the police. It was early in the morning and the night before i had taken 8 xanex bars. Needless to say i was very intoxicated. When the police showed up i was still sleeping in bed. I had pipes and bongs all over my room along with empty alcohol bottles i was saving. They confiscated all my paraphernalia and my marijuana. I also had all the equipment to grow pot. I was charged with marijuana, paraphernalia, and manufacturing. I got 6 months probation and totally blew it. I failed every drug test for pot. Then the last one i failed with cocaine. I had been doing that for the past month. They sent me to states custody. Luckily I got sent to my grandmothers house. DCS set me up in a rehab program right down the road from my grandma’s house. I had alot of motive to get clean this time, because my girlfriend and I found out she was pregnant. The three months i spent in states custody I got clean and got my life together. I got my GED and my lisence. My son was born about a month before i got out of custody. But i was ready to take on fatherhood being completely sober. When I got out the first thing i did was get a job. For once i was able to pass the drug test. Now im almost 19, my son is 7 months old, and we are doing great. Living a drug free life is deffinatly the way to go. It saves you so much frustration and you get to enjoy life more. So my advice is to just stay away from it. Yes, its fun, but it will take over your life if you let it.

  15. kristina | May 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I am a 32 year old mother of 4 and am currently in treatment for my addiction to vicodin. I have always been “good”going to church never did drugs till I tried a few after high school, never partied till I was old enough to drink so really am not a typical drug addict. I went to the doctor when I was 16 and was prescribed vics

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