Substance abuse starts earlier – Biddeford – Saco

November 21st, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

BIDDEFORD – Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Edward Bilsky, a professor of pharmacology and vice president for research and scholarship at the University of New England, said the fact that drugs are prescribed by doctors creates a false sense of safety and a cultural attitude that seeks medical solutions from drugs.

Biddeford High School officials and University of New England professors held a forum last week to educate high school students and their parents about the latest research in medicine, public health and neurosciences.

About 30 people were at Biddeford High School’s Little Theater, Wednesday, Nov. 12, while Bilsky and professor Christian Teter presented findings on the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs and the misconceptions of marijuana.

Bilsky is researching treatment methods for chronic pain and addiction with the hope of reducing reliance on opiates to treat pain. Opiates are narcotic alkaloids that depress the central nervous system and are derived from the opium poppy plant.

Bilsky said as the number of prescriptions for opiates in the U.S. increased during the 1990s and 2000s, problems associated with the drugs, such as overdoses and deaths, also increased – overdoses have tripled since 1990.

According to a policy impact report on prescription painkiller overdoses from the CDC, the number of prescription painkillers sold in 2010 was four times higher than what was sold in 1999.

“Drugs all have such an effect, even the ones that are prescribed,” Bilsky said. “People

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