Utah Teen Prescription Drug Abuse is High, Affects All Types of Teens
May 14, 2012
A new study shows that Americans use more than 80% of the addictive pain pills made in the world. Utah, where opiates are the number one drug choice for 18 to 24 year olds, has one of the highest opiate use rates in the country. And the kids that are using aren't the ones you might think. Honor student and sports captain Chelsea Wiley was hooked on pills by age 14. Soon she progressed to heroin, a stronger, cheaper, and widely available opiate. “Heroin is just everywhere, every street corner you can find someone that can get it,” says Chelsea. Now at the resident drug program Odyssey House in Salt Lake City, Chelsea explains that parents might know their kids are doing drugs. “I know my parents never thought it would be me,” she says.
Dan Snarr, who lost his son to prescription drugs, now speaks out to help others realize that prescription drug abuse encompasses all races, religions, and economic classes. “You don't want anyone to go through the pain and sorrow of losing a child, it’s tough,” he says. Experts say parents should look for warning signs including changes in behavior. These changes could include being more closed off to you or family, suddenly changing who they hang out with, or showing signs of anxiety or depression.
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ABC 4 News Salt Lake City