Report: 1 In 7 In Dearborn Co. Know A Pill Abuser
Press release from Assistance for Substance Abuse Prevention Center
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – According to a 2012 oversample from the Greater Cincinnati Survey, about 1 in 7 (14 percent) Dearborn County Indiana adults reported that they had friends or family members who had experienced problems as a result of abusing prescription pain relievers. Five percent said they had used a pain reliever such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet or codeine without a prescription for the experience or feeling it caused.
The ASAP (Assistance for Substance Abuse Prevention) Center sponsored the research. “A group of our partners in the rural Southeast Indiana counties identified the lack of data about adult substance use as a barrier to getting communities to focus on substance abuse issues,” explains Mary Francis, director of the ASAP Center. “We sponsored this research to collect reliable, high-quality data about smoking, excessive alcohol use and the misuse of prescription pain relievers in the five Indiana counties we serve.” Those counties are Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland.
‘“Prescription pain relievers are safe when used as directed – by the person for whom they were prescribed,” says Detective Tom McKay, director of the Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit and president of the Indiana Drug Enforcement Association. “However, misuse of these medications can lead to addiction, and so many times we see children affected by this; they are the secondary victims.” According to the Indiana Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, 24,634 prescriptions for hydrocodone and 7,065 prescriptions for oxycodone were dispensed in Dearborn County in 2008. That equates to nearly one prescription of hydrocodone for every two citizens and 1.4 prescriptions of oxycodone for every 10 citizens.
About 2 in 10 (20 percent) of Dearborn County adults who reported they had been prescribed a pain reliever that could not be bought over the counter, about 2 in 10 (20 percent) said they had been prescribed more pills than were needed. More than a third (41 percent) of Dearborn County adults and nearly half (47 percent) of Southeast Indiana adults dispose of prescription drugs in unsafe ways, such as throwing them away or flushing them down the drain. Says Donna Thacker of Citizens Against Substance Abuse (CASA) in Dearborn County, “This behavior by so many of our citizens is very frustrating, because we have many options. Many pharmacies will take unused and expired medications at no charge as will law enforcement. CASA partners with the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department for a monthly drug disposal program that is always the last Saturday of every month from noon to 4 p.m.” The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds National Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice a year. This service is free and anonymous. For more information in Dearborn County, contact the Law Enforcement Center in Lawrenceburg at 812-537-8700.
Tobacco and Alcohol Use
About 1 in 5 (17 percent) adults in the U.S. and in the state of Indiana (21 percent) were current smokers in 2010. Similarly, 22 percent of adults in Southeast Indiana are current smokers. Nearly 3 in 10 (28 percent) adults in Dearborn County smoke, similar to the regional number. Like the state and the nation, Southeast Indiana has seen a decrease in the percentage of current smokers in the last decade.
One in 7 adults (16 percent) in Southeast Indiana reported binge drinking in the 30 days before the survey, similar to rates in the state (14 percent) and the nation (15 percent) in 2010. However, nearly 1 in 4 adults (24 percent) in Dearborn County reported binge drinking, higher than regional averages and national targets. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks on one occasion for women and five or more drinks on one occasion for men. Binge drinking trends have been consistent since 2002.
For more information about this Greater Cincinnati Survey oversample, visit http://www.asapcenter.org/resources.html.
About the Greater Cincinnati Survey, Southeast Indiana Oversample
The Greater Cincinnati Survey, Southeast Indiana Oversample, is sponsored by the ASAP Center, conducted Jan. 3-15, 2012, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 523 adults throughout Southeast Indiana in Franklin, Ripley, Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties was interviewed by telephone. In 95 of 100 cases, regional estimates will be accurate to ±4.3%. There were 221 respondents in Dearborn County. In 95 out of 100 cases, the Dearborn County results will be accurate to ±6.6%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording or context effects that can introduce error or bias.
About the Assistance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Center
The ASAP Center’s work is focused on its partners—youth, youth group leaders, educators, clergy, volunteers, and others who are working to address the needs for prevention in their communities. The ASAP Center supports Partners’ community-based activities, helping them tap into resources to be more effective. The ASAP Center offer workshops, a resource library and one-on-one consultations to community groups. Through these and other activities, the ASAP Center teaches and connects people to substance abuse prevention resources. For more information about the ASAP Center’s work, please see our website www.asapcenter.org.