McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


June 9, 2014

Prescription drug abuse

Detective’s Dispatch

McALESTER — One of the most common forms of substance abuse that we see or deal with these days is the abuse of prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that nearly one-third of people age 12 and over whom used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically.

The same survey found that over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives, while approximately 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or the Internet. Although there are a number of prescription drugs currently being abused, the most common one we see is the abuse of prescription opiate pain relievers such as Vicodin, Opana, morphine and Oxycontin.

The number of prescriptions filled for opiate pain relievers has increased dramatically in recent years. Opiates are a synthetic heroin that are FDA-approved, prescribed by a doctor and if taken properly are very effective in their use, but if they are abused or taken with other drugs or alcohol they can be deadly.

Other prescription drugs that are being abused are stimulants for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall, Concerta, or Ritalin and depressants for relieving anxiety, such as Valium or Xanax. Most prescription drugs are dispensed orally in tablets, but abusers sometimes crush the tablets and snort or inject the powder. This hastens the entry or the drug into the bloodstream and the brain and amplifies its effects. This is even more dangerous. Many people that get addicted to prescription opiates eventually switch to heroin, because it is cheaper and easier to get than prescription medication.

There is a common misperception among many parents and youth that prescription drugs are less dangerous when abused than illegal drugs because they are FDA-approved.  Many well-meaning parents do not understand the risks associated with giving prescribed medication to a teenager or another family member for whom the medication was not prescribed. Many parents are also not aware that youth are abusing prescription drugs; thus, they frequently leave unused prescriptions in open medicine cabinets while making sure to lock their liquor cabinets. Secure your medication in a safe place. Talk to your children about the dangers of drug use, including the abuse of prescription drugs.

The abuse of prescription drugs is a problem that affects or has affected all of us in one way or another. The problem was not caused by any one agency or individual and the problem can’t be fixed by one agency or individual, but if everybody works together, we can take a step in the right direction. If you have medication that you need or take frequently, keep it in a safe, secure place.

If you have medication around your house that you don’t need, dispose of it.

Thieves have broken into houses just to raid the medicine cabinet and steal prescription meds. It is illegal for anyone to posses these types of medications without a prescription. It is also illegal to sell it or even give it away. Doctors must be aware of abusers that doctor-shop and law enforcement must continue to fight this war on drugs. If you have medication that you need to dispose of, there is a disposal container located at the McAlester Police Department.

If you would like to schedule a neighborhood watch or safety program, contact officer Jeremy Busby at 918-423-9657 or email him at

If you have any information that may help us solve a crime, contact the McAlester Police Department’s Criminal Investigation division at 918-421-4917. You may remain anonymous.

To report any other criminal or suspicious activity, contact the McAlester Police Department at 918-423-1212 or dial 911 if it is an emergency.

Have a great week and don’t forget to buckle up!

Det. Sgt. Morris is the public

information officer for McAlester Police Department. Contact him at 918-423-1212 or chris.morris@cityof

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Saundra Kaye Offill

    Saundra Kaye Offill, 67, lost her 7 year battle with Alzhiemer’s on Thursday, July 10, 2014. She was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 11, 1947, to Louis and the late Melba Vanlandingham.

    July 16, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg ‘Is anything sacred anymore?’

    What do we know about the “The Star Spangled Banner” ?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Any hope in new MPD facility?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald Sterling needs to go away

    Whether it happens due to a quick settlement or a likely longer trial, Clippers owner Donald Sterling just needs to go away.

    June 19, 2014

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Prescription drug abuse

    Tip of the Week
    You can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medication, so follow your recommended dosage or don’t get behind the wheel.

    June 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Durant Kevin Durant’s grace period will end soon

    After his 7th season ended Saturday with the Thunder’s Game 6 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the grace period for Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant may soon be drawing to a close.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Billy Guy Ferrell

    Billy Guy Ferrell, died Saturday, May 24, 2014, at a nursing home in McAlester.

    May 30, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg Congress faces risky decision on National Security, local aerospace jobs

    When you’re in the middle of errands and your fuel gauge hits the red zone, what do you do? Skip the gas station and try to make it back home on ‘E’? Even if you make it home, what will you do the next time you need to drive your car? It’s not worth the ten minutes saved. Who wants to be stranded on the side of the road, forced to walk to the nearest filling station or wait for a tow?

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Lamb From the Capitol: Staycation in Oklahoma

    With the summer travel season quickly approaching, many Oklahomans are making plans for their summer vacations. I would encourage Oklahomans to look in our own backyard and explore all that Oklahoma has to offer this summer. All ages and all travel enthusiasts can find something of interest here at home.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.