Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:43 AM EDT2013-05-21 13:43:57 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51.More >>
It was a rare moment in relations between the media and the government: In 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller called the top editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post to apologize.More >>
It was a rare moment in relations between the media and the government: In 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller called the top editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post to apologize because the bureau had improperly...More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:33 AM EDT2013-05-21 11:33:11 GMT
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many of them are using social media to find out.More >>
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many are using social media to find out.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:13 AM EDT2013-05-21 11:13:44 GMT
You can help those affected by the deadly, severe weather that hit Oklahoma Monday. Over the weekend, Missouri, Iowa, Kasas and Illinois also experienced severe weather.The American Red Cross is acceptingMore >>
Learn how you can help victims of severe weather recover in the Plains States...More >>
By The Associated Press Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:More >>
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:More >>
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
When you think of drug rehab, you probably think cocaine, heroin, oxycotin, but some different drugs are sending an exploding number of kids into treatment these days - prescriptions for ADD and ADHD.
We found many of those prescriptions are being passed out, sold and abused, and it's leading to life-threatening addictions.
Annie Gendaszek was introduced to ADHD medications when she was just 13 years old by a friend with a prescription.
"I really liked the side effect and how it made me feel, so I sought out my own prescriptions from doctors," said Gendaszek.
By the time she was in college, she was abusing the drug daily and knew she needed help.
"Significant weight loss, irritable moods, I started lying, being dishonest, stealing," she said.
Dr. Nancy White is an addiction specialist with Bradford Health Services in Huntsville. The facility treats both adolescent and adult patients.
"We do get a lot of patients that were never prescribed the medication and they get them from their friends or buy them off the street. Happens a lot in schools," said White.
Experts blame the fact that the drugs are easy to obtain and socially acceptable. White said parents need to have candid conversations with their kids about the misuse of prescription medications.
"'This is prescribed by a doctor for this particular problem and that is what it is to treat. It's not to be used in any other way and not given to any of your friends.' I think that is a very important thing to tell kids when they get these prescriptions," she said.
"As long as prescription medications have been around, there has been a teenager aroundwilling to abuse it," said Dewayne McCarver.
McCarver is the commander of the Madison-Morgan County Strategic Counter Drug Team or STAC. He said typically, the values that exist in families around the use of illicit drugs don't seem to come into play when you talk about prescription medications.
"If you ask the average person on the street if they have ever done crack cocaine, most people would say, 'Lord, no. I have never and would never do cocaine.' But if you ask them if they've ever had to take prescription pain medication, most everyone has had to at some point in their life so they don't view it the same way. However, it is. If you abuse prescription medication, especially pain medication, it is just as deadly as cocaine - if not more so," said McCarver.
Through rehab, Gendaszek got help for her addiction and she's about to celebrate four years of sobriety.
"It's a really sad and lonely place to be. But there is hope and there is a solution," she said.
Experts point out that in addition to being harmful to your health and addictive, selling your prescription or even just giving it away to your friends is actually a felony that could result in some serious penalties, including fines and jail time of convicted.