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County Task Force’s Conference Focuses On Prescription Drug Abuse

Aired 8/30/12 on KPBS News.

Prescription drug abuse, methamphetamine and emerging drugs like bath salts will be discussed at a San Diego conference Thursday.

— San Diegans have a major problem with methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors' Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force will hold a conference highlighting the issue and what can be done about it on Thursday.

The "Rx, Meth and Emerging Drugs: What's Happening Now? What to Do?" conference will explore current trends and some prevention strategies.

There have been nearly 800 meth-related deaths in San Diego County in the last five years. Prescription drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death, surpassing car accidents.

DEA Special Agent Tom Lenox said prescription painkillers continue to be a popular choice. But he added some abusers, especially young people, take other pills, too.

"They're using the oxycodone products and they're using the hydrocodone products in conjunction with anti-depressant, anti-anxiety drugs, and they use 'em as a cocktail and mix them," Lenox explained.

Health officials say prescription drug abuse is America's fastest-growing drug problem.

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