Officials warn of prescription drug abuse by teens

GREENWICH - Officials are warning of increased prescription drug abuse amongst teenagers across the country and in southwestern Connecticut.

Statistics show one out of five teenagers in the U.S. has abused prescription drugs. Ginger Katz, of the Courage to Speak Foundation, knows the pains firsthand.

?The kids start with painkillers,? she says.

Katz?s son Ian died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2001 at the age of 20. She has since dedicated her life to helping other families going through the same problems.

?Parenting is different nowadays,? she says. ?There's so much more drugs. They're much more stronger. They're everywhere."

Sgt. James Marr, of the Greenwich Police Department, says the abuse is visible at the school level.

"A lot of kids are going to school and they're prescribed drugs and they're taking drugs with them into the schools, legally prescribed drugs and somehow they're getting into the hands of other kids,? says Marr. ?They're sold to them, shared with them, whatever."

Advocates like Katz advise parents to talk to their kids early and often about the dangers of drug abuse.

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