The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse

Easy to Obtain, Easy to Conceal

Music and drugs tend to go hand in hand in Nashville, Tennessee. The city is steeped in a tradition of moonshine and outlaws, and is also home to a tight-knit drug network on Broadway. Fearing police entanglement, both dealers and users in the city are switching to easy-to-hide prescription medicine (Rx). This trend has dubbed the city “Stashville, Tennessee.”  However, Music City is just a blip on the map of the biggest trend of illegal and sometimes deadly drug distribution in America.

Accessible and Addictive

In the season finale of Drugs, Inc., the problem of prescription drug abuse is examined and brought to light. While these easily accessed and bartered drugs are becoming more prevalent overall, it is teens that are the most susceptible to the trend. Parents often do not discuss the health risks associated with Rx medicine that can be found around the house.  Mistakenly, too many kids think if the pills come from a labeled bottle, they must be safe.

According to The Partnership at, today’s youth find their drug of choice is often readily available in their parent’s medicine cabinet or from friends who are willing to sell their own prescriptions. In fact, more teens are abusing prescription medicine than ever before. Findings from The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by the MetLife Foundation, show that one in four teens have misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. This is a 33 percent increase from information available in 2008.

Many teens who try to cope with academic stresses and social pressures believe that there is no harm in over-the-counter medication, even if the prescription is not in their name. Current prescribed drugs used to combat the issue of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are considered helpful to anyone seeking a boost in their academic performance. Unfortunately, popping a pill as a study aid has become more and more common and teens who feel they need more sleep or who are suffering anxiety are also likely to raid the medicine cabinet for help. These behaviors can lead to a cycle of addition.

Putting an End to Prescription Drug Abuse

If these statistics and possibilities are a surprise to you, then now is the time to talk with your children. The Partnership at has several suggestions for how to help reduce teen access to prescription medicines.

  • Count your pills: Take note of how many pills are in bottles and note if any extra are missing.
  • Monitor prescribed medicine: Monitor your own prescriptions, keep track of refills and monitor any prescriptions you child is taking.
  • Keep pills secure: Place pills in a secure place that only you know about. Leaving medicine bottles in the cabinet may be asking for trouble.
  • Talk to other parents: You may not have prescription drugs in your home or they may be secure, but share your knowledge with other family members, friends and parents.

Prescription medicine abuse is one of the most pressing health epidemics threatening the well-being of American Youth. Adults, as well as children, can fall victim to Rx medicine abuse because of the ease of access of these medications in almost every home. On this episode of Drugs Inc., it is obvious that in Tennessee, prescription pills are easier for dealers to conceal as legitimate.

Watch the season finale of Drugs, Inc.: Stashville, Tennessee on Sunday October 20 at 9PM ET/PT and find out more about the market and about those who are struggling with Rx drugs abuse.

 For more information on The Medicine Abuse Project, which aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine by the year 2017, visit the


  1. Bruce
    Central New Yorkare
    October 18, 2013, 6:38 am

    In the year of our lord 2001, I was stricken with a nasty case of Diverticulitis unfortunately the abscess reached the point of rupturing causing a conditioned referred to as (sepsis) I believe that is what it is called. What happens is that the Fecal and other matter contained within the Bowel leaks out into the body cavity so it just kind of floats around everything there coating everything in shit…. not good. My fever went up to 150 my blood pressure was 68 over 40 which the doctor refers to as being very sick, which is just modern medicines way of saying your knocking on heavens door but they would rather not frighten you.
    Anyway after three weeks in the hospital on a P.S.A. Morphine drip the (P.S.A.) thing was the majic button that they set up the give you the access to la la land any time you feel you need it. Well hells bells I’m in the hospital feeling allkindof lousy about my self so I couldn’t hit the button enough, funny thing is the machine keeps track how often you use the button with the good intention of informing the doctor at what point the dosage could strat being brought down. I was pretty stoned so don’t quote me by i would have sworn I heard the doctor say the the nurse that I had depressed somewhere around 1300 times in a five minute period.
    I guess that rather then addressing the situation at that point the doctors decided to just let me leave the hospital with a large enough prescription to keep me from calling his office more then three days a week.
    The next six years of my life found me in and out of the hospital especially the emergency room at the very least once every two months or so because you see that one of the many nightmares of having your life completely ruled by an opiate drug addiction is that your body goes into a complete tolerance mode by the end of my finally just giving up having done things lowering myself to lies a deceits that mortify me to think of today. In the end I had lost my complete will to live and had lost almost everything I owned yet I could still not stop. I was one of a lucky few and I mean very few who had and has a spouse that stayed by my side thought the thick and thin.
    Now for the most difficult part of all, there times in your life when these pain medications are going to be a completely necessary part of your treatment. I had to have back surgery in November of last year the third to be specific the amount of anesthesia required to keep me sedated through entire surgery left me in the intensive care unit for an additional four hours because they were unable to ex-tubate me I just would not breath on my own, hows that after FIVE YEARS of not having as much as an aspirin or even a glass of wine… THINK TWICE YOUR IN CHARGE.

    I’m not a religious man and in my opinion after seeing people from all walks of life with this nightmare in their lives, you had better be ready to do it alone, because even with all the wonderful groups out there to help you to get past it with support like you’ll find no where else in life the bottom line comes down to you you will be shown the path but in the end the path leads to you being willing to start loving yourself again and know that we’re not alone on the spiritual path of life although we don’t always connect with that loved one right next to us that stranger up the road may be going though exactly what we are and if you reach out with your mind and soul you will find what you need.

    With this I will finish someone once said to me we all have ESP I wasn’t really a believer so I chuckled inside and said okay prove it ! This person said to me “Have you ever been sitting at home and just had a passing thought of an old friend or loved one”? I said well sure. They went on to say ” Then how in any other logically way can you you explain that taking place”! In my life I have never met anyone who answered no to that question, how do you explain it? Coincidence? well maybe if it only happened to a few of us , but all? I can’t explain it , my sons and I will do it for fun sometimes we will right down the time we thought of calling and see how close we get.
    We can do this with all of our brothers and sisters if you have a problem just ask for help! I will always try to be there.
    With Love!

    I didn’t proof read so please forgive mistakes.

  2. norm
    October 20, 2013, 1:35 pm

    I worked in a County jail and saw many people who were repeat offender reenter the correctional system. The difference in how quickly a person changes in unbelievable. I think if more young people were show videos of the transformation of people before they got hooked on drugs and after, they may not be so inclined to be users.

  3. Patricia
    October 28, 2013, 3:47 am

    As someone with severe pain due to peripheral neuropathy, proven by nerve conduction tests, x-rays and a seven year relationship with a pain management doctor, this is a very important subject to me. First, I am baffled by why anyone would even bother to take pain pills. I have NEVER felt any euphoria. Smoking a bit of cannabis (which is legal in my state) makes me feel much different – “high” for lack of a better word – than my prescribed heavy-duty prescriptions. I don’t happen to drink, but a single beer would make me feel more altered. I read that people who truly have pain do not get the “high” that people who DON’T have true pain enjoy. Kind of ironic, really. However, if I don’t use these medicines, my life would be literally unbearable, the pain is so intense. I don’t know if I’m addicted or not because my meds never run out – I see the doctor once a month for refills and monitoring. Now it’s said that the DEA and police are really cracking down on doctors who prescribe narcotics. Where does that leave someone like me? I have already put up with snotty pharmacists and doctors who seem to disapprove of the medicine I need so that I can take care of my kids, work part-time, etc. The stigma is terrible. This really puts me in quite a predicament. I so wish that idiots who think they’re getting high would leave my legitimate medicine alone. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider this.

  4. Joshua
    February 17, 2014, 5:44 pm

    I was addicted to heroin for quite a while. It’s a horrible thing. Along with that I was always using prescription drugs…in most cases they go hand in hand.

    I started with pills though and moved up the chain.

    I found a treatment that worked for me with Ibogaine. It helped me so much ( is what I used).

    I just hope people know there are treatment options out there. I couldn’t have done it without treatment.

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