A Grieving Mom’s Advice To Parents [AUDIO]
In November of last year Meg Dupont-Parisi's 21-year-old son Patrick died of a prescription drug overdose.
Meg says Patrick was popular and well educated, buy even he wasn't immune to the growing trend of young people getting hooked. Meg says prescription drug abuse, "is not a victimless crime." She has some advice for parents that kids might not like to hear.
Asked what she would have done differently to save her son's life, Meg said, "I know privacy is a big issue among everybody these days, but as a parent what I would've done if I had to do it again is, I would leave no stone unturned. I would be checking my children's text messages. I would be checking their cell phones. I would be their facebook pages. I would be doing everything I could to intervene whether the children knew it or not. They don't necessarily have to know it. It doesn't have to be a confrontational thing."
Meg says young or old people get addicted to prescription drugs very quickly and are unable to save themselves. She explains, "They become addicted so rapidly that they don't have a chance and my son just did not have a chance and he knew it. He told me, 'I cannot lick this.'"
According to State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa's office in 2010, New Jersey saw 7,238 admissions to State-licensed or certified substance abuse treatment programs as a result of prescription painkiller abuse. That number represents a striking 230 percent increase from 2005, according to statewide statistics collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Every day, 40 Americans die from abusing narcotic prescription painkillers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription drug abuse deaths have more than tripled in the past decade and now kill more people in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined. Opioid pain medication abuse accounts for the most common poisonings treated in emergency departments and nearly 1 million Americans are currently addicted to some type of opiate - costing insurance companies, according to some reports, upwards of $75.5 million a year.
The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation in June 2011 reported that a growing number of young people are abusing prescription drugs, and noted a significant trend in which young people who became addicted to painkillers eventually turned to heroin as a cheaper substitute.