Many consumers believe that controlled substances are safe because they are prescribed by doctors rather than sold by drug dealers on the streets. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers can be highly addictive and deadly. The most common drugs involved in prescription overdose deaths include:
- Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin®),
- Oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin®),
- Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana®), and
- Methadone (especially when prescribed for pain).
Additionally, prescription painkiller overdose deaths often involve benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants used as sedatives, to induce sleep, prevent seizures, and relieve anxiety. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax®), diazepam (Valium®), and lorazepam (Ativan®).
Regional Treatment Services
The West Virginia Attorney General's Office has developed regional lists of reputable substance abuse treatment services for easy access and distribution.
Region One: Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mercer, McDowell, Mingo & WyomingRegion Two: Braxton, Clay, Greenbrier, Fayette, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, WebsterKanawha County
Reducing the supply of unwanted prescription drugs is critical, as the Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that nearly one-third of children 12 and over who use drugs for the first time, begin with a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.
In November 2015, our office released a handout that educates consumers as to the proper storage and disposal of prescription medication: