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New “Bitter Pill” Government Website Aims To Educate Hoosiers On Prescription Drug Abuse

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Indiana now has a one-stop site for information on prescription drug abuse.

The misuse of prescribed medications has reached epidemic proportions, according to the state Department of Health.

With more Hoosiers looking for information about signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse or hoping to find out where they or their loved ones can go for help, Attorney General Greg Zoeller this week announced the kickoff of the state’s new Bitter Pill website.

The National Institutes of Health says more people in the United States misuse prescription drugs than indulge in cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined.

Joan Duwve, chief medical officer of the Indiana Department of Health says at least one in five Hoosier teens have abused prescription medications.

Many teens feel using prescription meds recreationally is safer than buying drugs off the street. Duwve says this simply isn’t true. Some 718 people died from prescription drug abuse and misuse in Indiana in 2011, the last year for which statistics are available.

“What is perceived as a ‘safe’ high too often turns out to be deadly,” Duwve says.

The Bitter Pill website offers information on five key features of prescription drug abuse: knowing the dangers, recognizing the signs and symptoms, proper prescription disposal, treatment resources, and reporting illegal use of the drugs

The Indiana Attorney General since January, 2012, has prosecuted at least 15 doctors who’ve prescribed addictive painkillers outside of medically appropriate usage.

The web address for the new website online at www.bitterpill.in.gov.

 

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