Local Connection: Prescription Pills

Local Connection: Prescription Pills

By: Rick Blangiardi

We've all taken pills when we've been injured or sick, but what's happening in Hawaii with prescription pills is shocking and deadly.

As our Tannya Joaquin reported last week, prescription drug overdoses now top auto accidents as the leading cause of death in Hawaii. Deaths by overdose have risen 69 percent in the past decade.

Even more stunning…the united states has four percent of the world's population but takes 80 percent of the world's narcotic pain prescriptions.

Tannya told the story of Jenny Fisher, a mother of four who, for five years, was addicted to the painkiller oxycontin. it only took two or three days for her to get hooked.

Now there is a statewide prescription drug monitoring program where pharmacies report prescribed medications to the state narcotics enforcement chief. That's caused a review of the 1.3 million prescriptions filled statewide this year.

If the wrong people get a prescription in their hands, they can make money on the black market, for example, getting a dollar a milligram for oxycontin.

And when someone gets hooked on prescription drugs and can no longer afford it, they graduate to someone less expensive but more deadly: heroin.

Filmmaker Edgy Lee, in her new documentary, "unprescribed: prescription for addiction" says four of five heroin users started with prescription drugs.

The details of this epidemic are contained in Edgy's powerful story, airing Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 9 pm on KGMB and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 9 pm on KHNL.

Please watch this powerful special. It could help save lives.

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