Preventing prescription drug use by students

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Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

(WRDW) -- Ken Wilson knows how addictive prescription pills can be. He says it only took 10 days for him to get hooked.

"I do understand that craving and the obsessions of where I'm going to get my next pill," Wilson said.

After struggling with pills himself and counseling addicts it worries him how easily teens can get pills, especially at school.

"They're their own worst pharmacist and they're just swallowing these pills just to see what happens and dangerous things can happen,"Wilson said.

Last year in Columbia County, they had almost 90 reported cases of drugs found at school. Thirty five of those marijuana and 32 were for pills. The Columbia County board of education says finding marijuana is nothing new, but the pill problem is, in that it's getting worse.

"Kids of course are very very curious, and let me take these and see what happens and the lucky ones get to do it the second time or the third time," Wilson said.

Columbia County schools say they work with the Sheriff's Office and they have random drug searches, and if a student gets busted with drugs they could face criminal charges.

It's up to the discretion of the officer. Richmond County also does random drug searches, and if a student gets caught with drugs they're suspended and have a tribunal hearing. A student could be expelled, sent to an alternative school, or maybe even sent to jail.

Last year, we had a lot of kids brining in medications that were really and truly theirs, but they weren't supposed to do it without the schools knowledge.

In Richmond County, there were 109 reported drug cases in schools. Wilson says it's easy for kids to overdose on prescription pills. According to GBI. the top three overdose drugs are Xanax, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone. Last year drug overdose took 42 teens lives

"Stop now while you can because you never know which one will send you over the cliff," Wilson said.