Meeting spotlights growing prescription drug problem in the Flathead

Posted at 4:03 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:57:59-04

KALISPELL – The Stop Prescription Drug Abuse in the Flathead Coalition is looking to get the message out to parents and kids of how dangerous drugs can be.

Statistics show that 2,500 kids begin abusing prescription drugs each day in the United States — and teens in Montana report the third highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the nation.

The Kalispell Police Department and STOP Prescription Drug Abuse in the Flathead Coalition hosted a town hall meeting on Tuesday evening to talk about the issue.

Police chiefs from the Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls police departments as well as the Montana Highway Patrol were on hand to discuss the opioid problem in the Flathead Valley and the increase of illegal drugs created by them.

Leaders of the coalition in the Flathead say that locally kids are finding and abusing Oxycontin and Adderall with prescription drug abuse usually beginning with kids finding medications in someone’s medicine cabinet. Once addiction sets in with those types of drugs, it can turn into a heroin addiction that they get cheaper.

In an attempt to increase awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs, the FBI released a documentary that features first-person accounts of addiction in hopes to save lives. Chasing Dragons refers to the never-ending pursuit of the original high.

Reporting by Nicole Miller for MTN News