Leaders Working For Change In Caldwell County - myfoxcarolinas.com

Leaders Working For Change In Caldwell County

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When you think about drug addiction, there is a chance prescription drugs do not come to mind. That is part of the problem, and a Caldwell County group, Leaders for Change, is working to raise awareness and make an impact on the community.

“People don’t go out and intentionally become addicted to pain medications when they become involved in an accident or need that treatment,” said Julie Causby, Community Care of North Carolina. “Therefore, it is an illness.”

Non-addicted people on pain medication are also feeling the effects.

“We have stories of how the children and grandchildren are slipping into their parent’s and grandparent’s medicine cabinets, abusing drugs,” said Terry Hunt, The Life Center. “Grandparents are saying I’m running out of medicine and I don’t know what’s happening to it.”

Lenoir Police have been able to link prescription drugs with a rise in crime.

“When people get into dire straits and they need something they’re addicted to, whether that be nicotine or alcohol or prescription drugs, they’re going to do what they have to do to feed that desire to get those drugs,” said Scott Brown, Lenoir Police Chief. “So, what we have seen is an increase in property crime.”

Prescription drug drop boxes have been installed to collect “unused, unwanted, expired medications,” according to Chief Brown.

The group is also trying to connect doctors and pharmacies in an attempt to stop abusers from getting multiple prescriptions for the same drug from multiple sources. They are also planning to work with businesses to help addicted employees.

"If a person comes in and they test positive for a drug screen, we want to change the mindset,” said Causby.  “Not to automatically fire that person, but to help seek treatment for that person."


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