Prescription drug abuse among 12th graders in Chesterfield higher than national average

Posted at 8:04 AM, Mar 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-25 08:15:53-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Prescription drug abuse is a problem among teenagers in Chesterfield County, despite efforts by Chesterfield Police and the SAFE substance abuse coalition to get prescription drugs out of the hands of teenagers.

"Sometimes kids will get a hold of medications and have what we call pharm parties or skittle parties," Chesterfield Police Corporal Scott Gordon explained."They do not realize what they are messing with.  It can be very dangerous, potentially fatal."

On Wednesday, police are holding medication take-back. In the last four years, take-back programs have resulted in 11,000 pounds of prescription drugs removed from the streets of Chesterfield.

Police asked parents to drop-off old medication to the Clover Hill Police Support Facility at 2730 Hicks Road between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. No questions will be asked, it is just drop and go.  Chesterfield Police will then pay to have the medication and bottles disposed safely.

Regina Whisett, Executive Director of SAFE, said prescription drug use has decreased since the medication take-back programs started, but the prescription narcotic abuse rate among 12th grade high school students in Chesterfield is still higher than the national average.

"A lot of the prescriptions can be very dangerous and addictive," she said. "What we have seen is some teens that were taking prescription medications, now they are turning to heroin because it is less expensive than prescription drugs."