GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – October marks the start of National Drug Abuse Awareness Month. A time when health professionals and community members can come together to talk about the dangers and impacts of drug addiction.
This month helps raise awareness of not only the dangers of prescription drugs, but over the counter ones as well. WNCT met with a local healthcare professional to better understand the work being done in eastern North Carolina.
âPeople don’t recognize the abuse of these drugs that get you into a state where you are not really in control of yourself. “
Glenn Buck, Clinical Director “PORT Health Services”
Whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter drugs, both can be abused. Glenn Buck is the Clinical Director of Port Health Services. He says over-the-counter medications like cough syrups have been popularized among young people today.
“Well obviously over the counter drugs are a lot of cough medicine, there is a culture, there is a lot of music promoting cough medicine and I think 1 in 5 teenagers abused cough medicine. “
Buck says it all comes down to access. He notes that opioids are actually very helpful for those who need them, but when they linger in the medicine cabinet they can turn deadly.
“It’s all about access, so what you should always remember is that you don’t think of your meds as something that could be a deadly tool.”
Noting that yes, in the past there may have been instances where some doctors over-prescribed or gave too much in one prescription. But he now says that they are in fact able to hold each other more responsible.
“I think with the recent legislation that was passed there are now all kinds of checks on drugs while there is a line where all doctors can go to see where they got drugs from. medications.”
Buck says they have several services for those struggling, including more than a dozen outpatient clinics for those in need. When it comes to young people, he says it’s all about prevention efforts.
âI think prevention is very important. The sad thing is that we struggle to get enough funding to do enough prevention, so it ends up becoming more of an intervention. “
Buck says it’s important for people to know that there are funds available for those who are uninsured or underinsured to enable them to access these programs.
For those who would like to receive a medication safe or medication disposal bags, you can contact Debbie Sudekum at Port Health Services. His email is [email protected] She can also be reached by phone at (252) 341-6483