While many are aware of the hazards of narcotics and other illegal opiate drugs such as heroin, a rising trend indicates that more people are both using and becoming addicted to prescription medication – ordinary drugs that can be found in the bathroom cabinet or used and prescribed as medication for patients.
In 2010, over 22 million prescriptions for painkilling drugs were written in New York State, a sobering statistic considering the entire population of the state is a little more than 19.5 million. The fastest growing age group among prescription drug abusers is teenagers and young adults.
Desire by addicts for these drugs are also strong enough to have lead to the shootings of six people across two high-profile robberies on Long Island.
As part of his senior project to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse – particularly amongst his own age group – Mineola High School senior Eric Timlin invited New York State Sen. Jack Martins as well as Jason Andrews of the Nassau Alternative Advocacy Program, which helps recovering drug addicts, and Nassau County Detective Pam Stark of the narcotics squad to speak to students on January 3 about the issue as well as the state’s new I-STOP legislation that tracks painkiller medication, which Martins helped cosponsor.
Every senior at Mineola High School is required to complete a “senior project” in order to graduate. Timlin had recently served as an intern at Martins’s office as part of his research for the project.