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Death Of Whitney Houston Draws Attention To Problem Of Prescription Drug Abuse

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Caron Treatment Center of Pennsylvania. (Credit: Caron)

Caron Treatment Center of Pennsylvania. (Credit: Caron)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
She's reported from inside a burning building, from the flight deck of...
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the death of legendary singer Whitney Houston continues to make headlines, rumors continue to swirl about the prescription medications she may or may not have ingested.

While it will take weeks to determine exactly what took her life, one thing is certain: prescription drug abuse in this country is a growing problem.

David Rotenberg, Vice President of Treatment at Caron Treatment Centers says the statistics are startling. “If you look at the last three years, over six-million Americans say they have abused prescription drugs in the last month.”

Listen to Michelle Durham’s interview with David Rotenberg in this CBS Philly podcast:

Rotenberg says the fact that the drugs come from a physician lulls people into a false sense of security.

What kind of drugs are we talking about? “Opiates like Vicodin, Percodan, Percocet, Oxycontin. The benzodiazepines: Xanax. Folks don’t understand there is a synergy between especially benzodiazepines and alcohol, so if you drink, it increases the strength of both.”

Rotenberg says it’s very important for folks who want to detox from opiates or benzodiazepines to understand it’s too dangerous to attempt that alone. They need medical help.

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