PORTLAND, Ore. – Educators and law enforcement officers are coming together to fight prescription drug abuse in Oregon schools.
Wednesday, they asked students to help them understand the problem at a summit about prescription drug abuse at the Federal Courthouse in Portland.
“I just never got exposed to it until I got to high school,” said student guest speaker Erin Thomas.
The message they have for parents: “talk it up, lock it up.” Talk to your kids and lock up your drugs. The slogan is seen on several posters from health and government authorities.
According to government researchers, 1 in 4 teens has taken a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them by a doctor. Every day, 2,500 teens take a prescription pain reliever for the first time, researchers say.
Last year, 4 middle school students in Hillsboro got sick when a student shared some of his mother's Oxycontin.
Oregon’s new U.S. Attorney, Amanda Marshall, said prescription drugs can be a dangerous gateway.
“While a kid might get their first oxy from a friend, or at a party, or out of mom’s purse, or out of grandma’s medicine cabinet, once those supplies have dwindled, heroin is frankly cheaper and more accessible than Oxycontin on the streets,” said Marshall.
It’s a downward spiral that student Gerhett Moser doesn’t want to see anyone try to recover from.
“In my family we’ve kinda had a history of addiction and I don’t want to see other people suffer from the same thing,” Moser said.