Canonsburg Mayor David H. Rhome said it's time to stop sugar-coating it: Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic.
"It has no boundaries," he said. "It affects the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the famous—no one is immune."
That's why Rhome said he encouraged Canon-McMillan School Superintendent Michael Daniels to bring a program about the subject to the district after they attended a similar program in Charleroi.
The drug summit on prescription drug abuse was planned, and will be presented Thursday.
"We have come to understand that addiction starts in the medicine cabinet," Rhome said.
Juniors and seniors at Canon-McMillan High School will see the two-hour presentation during the school day, and community members are welcome to attend a session at the high school at 6:30 p.m.
And Rhome encourages everyone to attend.
Not only will Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone be presenting, but also members from the Canonsburg, Cecil and North Strabane police departments—and others.
A former addict will also talk about her descent into drugs, a testimonial that the mayor deemed "powerful."
"It wrecked her life," Rhome said. "You gotta come out and hear it from the big guns.
As mayor, he said tackling drug abuse in the community was one of his main objectives when he was elected—and that he noted while in office that 90 percent of crime was related to drugs.
"People are looking for money to feed their habits," he said.
Rhome also noted that 50 deaths in Washington County were caused by drug overdoes last year.
"That's 50 too many for me," Rhome said. "As mayor, I felt if one life is saved by putting on the summit, then it was all worth it."
For more information on the summit, click here.