(Washington, D.C.) There is new ammunition in the war against drugs in Eastern Washington. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ request for money to help treat and prevent prescription drug abuse.
“Washington State leads the nation in deaths from prescription drug abuse and the problem among adults and children is growing worse. We must fight these disturbing trends and this money will greatly help our efforts,” McMorris Rodgers said.
The FY2010 Commerce, Science, Justice Appropriation bill contained McMorris Rodgers’ request for $500,000 which will fund equipment, materials and staff at the Washington State University Program of Excellence to research the treatment and prevention of prescription drug abuse.
"This funding will advance our ability to respond to the crisis of prescription drug abuse in a thoughtful, evidence-based fashion. Working hand-in-hand with law enforcement, policy makers, prevention, and treatment specialists we hope to develop and refine solutions to combat the scourge of prescription drug abuse,” WSU’s Director of Program of Excellence in the Addictions Dr. John Roll said. “We are deeply grateful to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for her efforts to improve the health of our nation's citizens through her support of our work."
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, during a 30 day time period in 2008, 4% of eighth graders, 10% of 10th graders and 12% of 12th graders used prescription pain medicine to get high. Among 12th graders who abused prescription drugs, more than half of them used them three or more times in the same time period.