According to Quest Diagnostics, a medical research center out of Charleston, 52 percent of people aged 10 to 17 are using drugs that aren’t prescribed to them.
Betty Crawford lives in Cool Ridge, Raleigh County. As a grandmother of four, she believes it all begins with poor parenting.
“If I teach a child I feel I’ve done my responsibility, and that’s what I think it’s all about: responsible parents and teaching the kids the right thing,” Crawford says. “Then you can’t help what they do after that.”
One Voice helps fight youth drug addiction in Raleigh County. There I spoke with Melonie Terry, its program director, who says it’s a passion of hers to help kids who are abusing any substance, not just drugs.
“If we can grab them at a young age to, you know, stop the negative peer pressure and reward them for their good behavior,” Terry says. “That’s kind of the foundation of which this program is built.”
Although 52 percent may seem like a high number of children that are misusing prescription drugs, it is down by almost 20 percent since 2011. If you have any prescription medication at home, make sure you lock it up, out of reach from children.