Exploring How Prescription Drug and Illicit Drug Abuse Intertwine
SMITHTOWN — Thomas Burke remembers taking prescription drugs from his father's room at 17 as he tried to cope with the loss of his mother to cancer. He began using the prescription drugs to avoid the emotional pain but that, eventually, lead to heroin abuse. Experts across the island say Burke's situation is a common scenario. Heroin's cheaper price leads many prescription drug abusers to turn to it. Right now, however, prescription abuse is claiming more lives than heroin in Suffolk County. Forty people a day die from prescription overdose in the United States. Officials say a major way of preventing prescription drug abuse is by getting rid of unused and unwanted medicine through legal drop-off bins, which are available at Suffolk police stations.
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