Rally raises awareness of prescription drug abuse

spilled bottle of prescription pills

Photo: Amanda Mills, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A rally to help raise awareness of the hazards of abusing prescription drugs, the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana, but ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.

The first-time event is organized by the UIC College of Pharmacy and the UIC Wellness Center.

Tuesday, April 8
Noon – 1:30 p.m.

UIC Student Center East
750 S. Halsted St., Room 302

Kenneth Hale of the Ohio State University, renowned researcher of prescription drug abuse, is featured speaker. Hale is also co-founder of the Generation Rx Initiative, a learning community focused on prescription drug abuse prevention.

Julie Bucek, a third-year student in UIC’s doctor of pharmacy program, will share her story about losing her sister to prescription drug abuse.

Drug overdose death rates have more than tripled in the U.S. since 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most were caused by prescription drugs.

Many types of prescription drugs are abused, but nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by painkillers, or opioids. These drugs were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined. More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers nonmedically in 2010.

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