Prescription drug deaths level off in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — There was good news in the San Diego County annual prescription drug abuse report card Thursday, which reported that prescription drug deaths have leveled off.

But the news was tempered by the fact that too many people are still abusing opiates and dying.

They gathered at the County Administration Building to share the annual prescription drug abuse report card. 

In 2015, there were 248 fatal overdoses, four more than in 2014, but 11 fewer than the year before.

But even though awareness is prominent and prosecutions aggressive, the report card had some D’s, if not F’s. 

There was a 20 percent increase in emergency room visits because of prescription drugs and the percentage of juveniles arrested for misuse continues to be a problem.

Heroin remains an issue for young people because of the higher costs of drugs such as Oxycontin. 

As with previous report cards, the finger continues to point to medicine cabinets full of unused or unwanted prescription medications and parents not paying enough attention. 

This Saturday, the Escondido Police Dept. will be participating in the DEA’s 12th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters building, located at 1163 N. Centre City Pkwy. 

Staff will be on-hand to accept and properly dispose of any unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs. 

The service is free and anonymous.  

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