Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program

In 2012, WVADS, Inc. developed a Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program for treatment, as well as prevention/education. Phil Bauer, whose 17-year-old son, Mark, died of a prescription drug overdose one day prior to his high school graduation, was a major influence on the decision of the agency to begin such a program. His strong advocacy, conviction, and dedication to increasing awareness of this specific problem was enough to convince WVADS, Inc. that it should lead the way. What we found was an epidemic problem with prescription drug abuse in both the young and adult population. The numbers of people gaining access to these drugs illicitly by “doctor shopping” and “pharmacy hopping” was drastically increasing as was interest and street access.

  • Data from the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health shows that nearly one-third of people aged 23 and over who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug non-medically.
  • The Monitoring The Future Study—the nation’s largest survey of drug use among young people—showed that prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana.
  • More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse than die from heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new report from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The Center For Disease Control found a fourfold increase in deaths from prescription narcotics over the past decade. Not surprisingly, it coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for the powerful painkillers.
  • Annually, between 15-20 million Americans report using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons at least once per year.

With the assistance and expertise of our Medical Director, Dr. Edward Carey, we have developed treatment protocols and procedures that will provide the patient a tremendous opportunity for recovery. Additionally, our Relapse Prevention Program will assist the patient in learning how to maintain their long-term recovery. On the Prevention/Education side, we have begun placing a greater emphasis on integrating prescription drug prevention information and materials into our school-based and community programming. A comprehensive brochure, detailing prescription drug info has been developed by the agency and widely distributed.