Opp chief: Beware of pills, heroin abuse

Published 1:04 am Friday, April 29, 2016

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald is concerned about the number of arrests being made in the county for illegal possession of pain pills.

“Law enforcement agencies to include the Opp Police Department and the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force as well as others are making arrests for illegal possession and use of prescription medication on a frequent basis,” he said. “It is sad to see what these pills have done to the lives of the people that we interact with.”

McDonald issued a warning about the use of prescription opioids through the OPD Facebook page.

“It may start with a toothache, back pain or anything else where pain medication is prescribed,” he said. “It can begin to spiral out of control rapidly until you realize that you are addicted.”

Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, McDonald said that people who take prescription painkillers can become addicted with just one prescription.

“People addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin,” he said.

The CDC also says there are nearly 7,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms from using these drugs.

“Ninety percent of new heroin users made their way to heroin as a result of using prescription opioids,” he said.

CDC data shows that the number of heroin-related deaths nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.

“Ladies and gentlemen, beware,” McDonald said. “Be smart. Talk to your doctor and make good decisions. If you think you have a problem, seek medical assistance immediately. If you let it go, you will pay a terrible price.”