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Prescription Drug Abuse In Southern Oregon

OPB | Oct. 3, 2013 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 4, 2013 10:30 a.m.

Hydrocodone is an opioid that can become addictive (via Casey Fleser/Flickr)

Hydrocodone is an opioid that can become addictive (via Casey Fleser/Flickr)

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem around much of the state, but in Southern Oregon it is particularly problematic. In a new DHM Research survey about Oregon Values and Beliefs, respondents in Southern Oregon who were pessimistic about the future of their communities cited drug abuse among the top reasons for their concern.

Jackson County has the highest rate in the state of people seeking treatment for prescription drug abuse. And the number of drug offenses nearly doubled between 2008 and 2012.. To put that in context, Oregon already has the highest rate of non-medical use of prescriptions drugs in the country, at 6.4 percent of residents. 

Jackson County Health and Human Services has received a nearly $400,000 federal grant to improve education and treatment programs for prescription drug abuse. And some health care professionals have joined together to create the Opioid Prescribing Group, which provides guidelines for physicians about when to proceed and when to stop prescribing potentially addictive drugs like OxyContin or morphine.

Do you live in Jackson County? What are the effects of drug abuse in your community? What should be done to curb the problem?

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