- Drug abuse has become a growing problem across the country and perhaps the most concerning issue involved is prescription drugs.
The misuse, dispersion and abuse of prescription drugs unfortunately often begins in a legitimate pharmacy or doctors office.
The Lakeland Area Prescription Drug Task Force was created to find a proactive approach to keeping drugs in the hands of those who need them and off the streets.
Prevention Specialist Bob Kovar of the Marshfield Clinic says, "We're also bringing law enforcement into our clinics on a regular basis to inform our providers what's going on out there on the street. What they should be looking for."
Doctors, police, community leaders and pharmacists all do their best to recognize when a drug takes a turn for the worse and becomes abused.
But one solution the taskforce considers is alternative forms of treatment, Kovar says, "Instead of having pain medication be at the top of the list, we want to be able to help the community understand that there's a whole list of other things that we can do before we use these really powerful drugs."
The main focus of the group is narcotic prescriptions and painkillers, which are abused more than any other drug.
The Task Force also aims to track prescriptions better and compare those numbers with law enforcement data to figure out exactly how many of these precription drugs are hurting more than helping.
Story By: Michael Crusan