Massachusetts Community Struggles With Prescription Drug Addiction

As more kids experiment with prescription medication, the addiction rate continues to rise in small communities across the country. Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is one region that is seeing an issue with adolescents abusing illicit substances.

Patricia Persico is one example of an individual who has seen how opiate addiction can destroy a family. Her daughter, Alicia, died in 2005 as a result of a heroin overdose, according to the Cape Cod Times. Now, Persico is telling her tale to other young adults in her community. She is also advocating for more anti-drug education as a teacher in the Barnstable County.

Persico told the news source that prevention is the key to reducing the addiction rate among children. In her speech at the beginning of January, state Senate President Therese Murray promised to target the heroin and prescription drug use that is plaguing Cape Cod. Many kids have begun abusing substances, such as oxycodone, as a way to cope with the stress of everyday life.

Almost 40 percent of high school seniors try illicit substances every year, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan. Drug rehab centers can help individuals detoxify, but further education may be able to deter kids from turning to illicit substances for recreational purposes.