Discussion Raises Awareness For Prescription Drug Abuse - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Discussion Raises Awareness For Prescription Drug Abuse

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MISSOULA -

For the first time-ever the Montana Meth Project opens a statewide discussion to prevent prescription drug abuse. Data shows one third of teens think it's okay to use prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them, and that those drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.

Leaders from across the state gathered in the Skaggs building at the University of Montana to help address a growing problem, prescription drug abuse among teens.

"If we can get that message out that it's dangerous, it's not just a pill, I think we can save lives," said Detective Dean Christenson of the Missoula Police Department was on a panel of experts along with Montana's First Lady Lisa Bullock.

Christenson said he's seeing a trend for prescription drug abuse.

He said, "Doing prescription drug aversion cases, I have more cases then I can keep up with to be honest, if anything, the trend is growing its not slowing."

Government data shows more than 300 Montanan's deaths are contributed to prescription drug use.

It also shows more than four in ten teens obtained prescription drugs from their parent's medicine cabinet.

"This has encouraged me greatly to have a deeper and more meaningful conversation with my kids," said Lisa Bullock.

Today's discussion was organized by the Montana Meth Project, a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing meth use.

"We thought it was timely that we sent the message we've been sending about methamphetamines to our teens," said the Montana Meth Project's executive director, Lisa Rue.

While they wanted to address a growing problem, Montana Meth Project officials say they won't ease up on their anti-methamphetamine efforts.

"Methamphetamines will be main project, and we will be as vigilant about that as in years past," Rue said.

Montana Meth Project organizers said you can join the campaign by pledging to safely store prescription medications and talking with your family members about the dangers of abuse. For more information, visit the Montana Meth Project website.

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