Substance Abuse Course to Help Deal with Presciption Drug Abuse in North Dakota

by: Mike Miller

Like every other state in the Unites States, North Dakota is grappling with how to curb abuse of prescription medications. Why do you think prescription medications are becoming such a problem? My belief is that there are more of them and they are easily available.

In Grand Forks officials are especially alarmed, feeling that prescription drugs are so common among young people now that they are practically a form of currency. As reported in

Pills are being traded for marijuana, favors, gas money or other pills. Some pills are stolen, perhaps from older relatives with prescriptions; some are prescribed to the young people themselves.

One of the primary drugs traded among youth is the stimulant Adderall. Some prescription drugs, such as hydrocodone, are so common that students describe them as free.

Young people assume prescription drugs are safer because they’re legal and easy to obtain.

The belief is that for everyone who’s actually caught with an illicit drug like marijuana or meth, there are probably 10 cases that have to do with prescription pills.

Interestingly, law enforcement officials believe that prescription drug abuse tends to happen more with high school students than college students in the area.

Contributing to the relatively high rates of prescription drug abuse is the fact that they are so widely available.

Why is it that with the huge problem we have that the painkiller hydrocodone do not need a new prescription from a doctor for a refill?

I hope that North Dakota will implement drug awareness classes for all middle schoolers and high school students. This will increase the awareness and reinforce the message that these medications are addictive and very dangerous.