“Some of them are even saying it’s easier to get prescription medication than alcohol,” said Rob Covington, Ph.D., director of the Horizon Adolescent Treatment Program.
Covington runs a substance abuse for kids in Fort Smith. He sees kids as young as six — taking the meds themselves and giving them to friends.
“Hydrocodone would be the favorite. The young people can spot the medication. They know what they look like,” said Covington.
It’s a problem among every race and every socioeconomic background.
“The vast majority of them are not getting them on the street or illicit providers. They’re plentiful because people are stockpiling this type of medicine so there’s a lot to be had,” Covington said.
State leaders credit the “Take Back Prescription Drug Program” for helping with the problem. At the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, you can drop of unwanted meds twenty-four hours a day.
“It creates major drug trade problems. It creates violence that goes along with drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.
It’s a problem leaders say won’t go away until folks clean out the cabinets.
“There’s a belief that because they’re pharmaceutically produced, they’re safer so it’s probably okay,” Covington said.
Click here to locate a permanent, 24-hour prescription drug collection site.
Below are a few sites available on April 28:
Arkansas Children’s Hospital, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
USA Drug, 1401 E Harding Avenue, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wal Mart Parking Lot, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.