Moms Warn of Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

 In an attempt to curb the widespread problem of prescription drug abuse, agencies across the state of Wisconsin have created a pharmaceutical prevention campaign called “Good Drugs Gone Bad.” Authorities say of the 36 people who died from drugs in the Fox Valley last year, 27 involved prescription drugs.

"I think very few people realize that the overwhelming majority of prescription drugs that are abused come right out of the medicine cabinets or the pill bottles of legally and legitimately obtained drugs," Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

To highlight the dangers, two mothers shared their stories of how pharmaceuticals took a painful toll on both their families. Karen Falck still replays the conversations in her head. "I remember him saying, ‘Mom, don’t be mad at me,’ and I said, ‘Honey, I’m not mad at you, I’m scared for you.’"

Three summers ago her son, 17-year-old Corey Falck—the popular, funny co-captain of the De Pere wrestling team—suddenly began rebelling, coming home late, and failing his classes. Then her fears of drug abuse were realized: Prescription drugs killed Corey.

"We found out that Corey had three different prescription medications were in his system. He had methadone, Xanax, and liquid Vicodin," Falck said. Falck still wonders if she could have intervened. "I should have acted on that feeling in my heart that maybe things weren’t right and I probably should have pursued it further and I didn’t," she said.

Cindy Meyers is another mom struggling with her son’s battle with prescription drugs. Her son had been abusing prescription pills since he was 14.
"One of the hardest things for us as parents was turning him in, and turning him in every time we found out he was taking any drug that he wasn’t supposed to," she said.

Meyers said she would rather turn her son in than have to identify him at a morgue. Now her son is clean.

"Parents, grandparents, anybody with a prescription medicine needs to know that bottle is not safe in your medicine cabinet," Meyers warned.

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The Pain of Addiction

Vicodin addiction often starts innocently enough. Most people start taking Vicodin or other pain medications after surgery or an injury. But then they can’t stop. They need more to get the same pain relief. They start doctor shopping to get more pills. And the cycle continues until it takes over their lives.