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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:36 am 
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I saw this in the news this morning. Apparently for the first time in Bay County, Michigan, most of the people being treated for sub abuse issues are the ones hooked on pain pills and not alcohol. I'm of course not surprised by this, but it is good to see the media getting the idea, finally, as well as the local CMH's and sub-abuse treatment centers picking up on this, too, finally.

EXCERPT: BAY CITY — Bay County has long had a reputation as a home of heavy drinkers, but another demon has edged out alcohol as the most abused substance.

In 2010, for the first time ever, more Bay County residents sought treatment for prescription drug abuse than for alcohol addiction, said Barry T. Schmidt, prevention specialist at the Neighborhood Resource Center, 709 Ninth St. in Bay City.

“We never thought we’d see it, but according to the data, it’s happening,” said Schmidt.

The numbers were compiled by the Riverhaven Coordinating Agency, a substance abuse treatment and prevention arm of Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health, an agency serving Arenac, Bay, Huron, Montcalm, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties.

The data shows that, of area residents who received state-funded substance abuse treatment in 2010, 41 percent listed prescription painkillers as their primary addiction.
Barry Schmidt.JPGCourtesy"We never thought we'd see it, but according to the data, it's happening." -- Barry Schmidt, prevention specialist

Alcohol abuse accounted for 39 percent of state-funded adult treatment admissions last year.

By comparison, less than 34 percent of adult admissions involved prescription drugs in 2009.

Among teens, 13 percent of treatment admissions were for prescription drug abuse, and 20 percent for alcohol abuse, in 2010.

Schmidt did not have data for treatment funded by private insurance. He said, however, those numbers typically are about the same as those for state-funded care.

News of the shift came as a shock to Goldie J. Wood, director of Neighborhood Resource Center, a Bay City nonprofit dedicated to providing substance abuse prevention services education, early intervention and programming.

“I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Wood. “Alcoholism has always outweighed them all, always, by far. I never, ever thought I’d live long enough to see this.”

Kurt Miller, a spokesman for Bay Regional Medical Center, also was taken aback.

“Goldie gave me those numbers and I said, ‘You’re kidding,’” said Miller. “I was surprised at how much it had grown......(continued) ...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:24 pm 
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This doesn't surprise me either. Addiction to prescription drugs is a huge problem. I agree maybe seeing this data will open their eyes to what a dangerous epidemic this is. Also in 2010 opiate overdose killed more people than car accidents. I wonder how many more have to die before the country takes this serious?

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