By Mike DeNardo
VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — Law enforcement officials were joining academics and health experts today at Villanova University for a summit on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
The abuse of prescription drugs is now a more widespread problem than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines combined, says US attorney Zane Memeger.
He addressed a summit at Villanova, tackling how best to stem the tide:
“For a person with an addiction problem that needs treatment, criminal prosecution isn’t going to necessarily be the way to go,” he said. “If you’re trafficking in these controlled substances, that’s a different ballgame.”
Dr. Mary McGonigle, director of Villanova’s student health center, gives the example of a student with a heart rate of 120 because he took his roommate’s Adderall to study for an exam:
“Those drugs are in a class of drugs that are stimulants,” she says. “And used inappropriately, they can certainly adversely affect your health.”
She warns that some medications can be addictive, creating long-term implications to consider.