Prescription Drug Abuse Rampant in Reno
Officials with the Reno Police Department said prescription drug abuse is the second biggest drug problem in the United States.
In 2010, there were almost 4,000 emergency room visits in Nevada for prescription drug overdose. The same study shows 60% of those cases were women.
Men and teenagers are struggling as well.
Stacy Ward is the drug abuse prevention coordinator for the Reno Police Department.
She said younger people are more prone to abuse prescription drugs because it's not something you snort or shoot. It's an easier drug to use.
"Especially on the prevention side, I'm focusing primarily on teenagers because it's not scary like street drugs are. This is originated from a doctor and a doctor prescribed this to somebody at some point, so I'm sure it's fine. They think it's not a big deal if I take it. They'll share medications with each other."
Ward said studies show, one in five parents have given a prescription drug to their child that wasn't prescribed to them.
RPD Detective Scott Smith said it's also tough catching abusers and dealers
One reason why is because of illegal, online pharmacies that ship bottles of prescriptions from remote locations.
"There's very few registered and licensed online pharmacies that people can actually get legitimate prescriptions from, like Walgreens or CVS, but when you go to these off site pharmacies, it's a big issue because you don't now what you're getting. You may order a Percocet, but you don't know exactly what's in that pill when it gets to you."
To see the entire interview, watch Face the State Saturday at 4:30am or 3:30pm. It also airs Sunday at 6:30am.
Written by Chris Ciarlo