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Prescription Drug Abuse Summit Planned at Canon-McMillan High School

The event is slated for Jan. 31.

The non-medical use of prescription drugs contributes to nearly 40,000 deaths and almost $200  billion in health-care costs annually.

ln Washington County alone there were more than 50 drug-related overdose deaths in 2011, according to Washington County Coroner Tim Warco.

Drug­-induced deaths are the number-one cause of injury deaths in America. More Americans are dying from drug-induced deaths than from traffic fatalities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has labeled prescription drug abuse ”an epidemic.“

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, two-and-a-half times more  Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined. Our young people consider prescription drug abuse as a ‘low risk” way to get high.

It has been found that those 12 years and older who abused pain relievers in the past year have obtained them from friends and family for free, including from their home medicine cabinets. While youths and young adults, ages 12 to 25, are the most frequent abusers; this cabinets, Warco said in a statement.

The Practice of K. Gosai & A.J. Gandhi, MD, Canon-McMillan School District, Canonsburg Mayor David H. Rhome, Canonsburg Police Department, North Strabane Township Police Department, Cecil Township Police Departrnent, District Attorney Gene Vittone, Assistant District Attorney Mike Lucas,
Washington County Drug & Alcohol Commission and Supervisory Special Agent Robert Hill, DEA, are putting together multiple programs "to raise awareness to this epidemic that continues to spread."

The ever-growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction is increasing in the Canonsburg region affecting the lives of our youth as well as their friends and families, the release said. When teens abuse prescription medications, they put themselves at risk.

Organizers ask residents to get the facts and take action.

Here's what you need to know if you want to go:

When: Thursday, Jan. 31
Where: Canon-McMillan High School
Time: 6:30 pm

The following individuals are slated to speak:

  • Robert Hill, special agent DEA
  • Steve Kaufman, Department of Justice 
  • Tim Warco, Washington County coroner 
  • Ashley, a young woman with real-life experience
  • Gene Vittone, district attorney 
  • Mike Lucas, assistant district attorney 
  • Dr. Yesh Navalguncl , DNA Advanced Pain Treatment Center 
  • Cheryl Andrews , Washington Drug & Alcohol Commission 

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