Report Says Prescription Drug Abuse "Ravages People Of All Ages"

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson received information from the State of Tennessee showing generation preferences for drug use over a 20-year period.  The statistics, supplied by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services during the years 1992-2012, shows a trend toward the abuse of prescription medication in all age groups, from the 50s down to the teen years.  The information was gathered from state-funded substance abuse treatment data. 

Sheriff Watson said, “We unfortunately see the illegal use of prescription medication rising among those 50 years of age and even older, who formerly abused alcohol in their 30s.  It simply means they are switching addictions to opioids from alcohol.”  

The sheriff said he sees this as an extremely dangerous trend, in that the availability of alcoholic beverages is legal within the parameters of state laws, while, in many cases, obtaining painkillers is often done so by fraudulent means.  

“The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office handles several cases per month of Prescription Fraud and the theft of painkillers in burglaries," said Sheriff Watson.  "In some instances, the only items missing in residential burglaries are painkillers."  Also, people who otherwise would not be involved in any sort of criminal activity, are being charged with attempting to obtain medication illegally due to their dependence on the substance. 

Where veteran officers once saw just the use of cocaine and marijuana, they now see these illegal substances being used along with usually legal medications such as hydrocodone.  That means more admission to treatment centers across Tennessee.  

“During my eight years service in the Tennessee State House of Representatives, I participated in many committee hearings and meetings, pro-actively looking for ways to lessen the illegal possession and use of prescription pain medication,” Sheriff Watson said. “We did not want to take the medication away from those people who legitimately use it in the correct dosage.  We did want doctors to have more control of that medication, by being made aware of the amount taken and how often. We also wanted pharmacies statewide to have the opportunity to communicate closely with doctors and other pharmacies to end 'doctor shopping' and multiple sales of otherwise legal medicines to people who wish to resell them illegally." 

Since becoming sheriff of Bradley County last year, and continuing to work with law enforcement agencies statewide, the sheriff says it’s clear the addiction to prescription drugs ‘continues to ravage’ people of all ages.  “This is not a ‘young or old’ problem…it’s a people problem.  The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office will work day and night, focusing on strategies to reduce the supply and, in many cases, easy availability of prescription drugs for illegal use.” 

Sheriff Watson went on to say, “We sincerely want people with prescription medication addiction to seek help soon.  Many lives are being impacted by, and people are dying due to illegally obtained medications.” 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

CARTA Makes Bus Stops More Accessible

City Beer Board Hears 1st Violation Since Start Of COVID-19; Mexiville Gets Letter Of Reprimand


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALI, HUNTER ALEXANDER 5245 OLD HIXSON PIKE HIXSON, 37343 Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF ... (click for more)

CARTA has used grant money to make their bus stops more accessible to the public, something discussed during their Thursday meeting. Greg Harold said the $524,010 grant’s purpose was to “identify ... (click for more)

One violation of the Chattanooga beer code was heard at the city beer board meeting on Thursday morning - the first violation hearing conducted using Zoom. Chattanooga Police Officer John ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALI, HUNTER ALEXANDER 5245 OLD HIXSON PIKE HIXSON, 37343 Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED S VIOLATION OF PROBATION (RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRU --- BEENE, ATLEE EARL 7441 CHAD ROAD HARRISON, 37341 Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

CARTA Makes Bus Stops More Accessible

CARTA has used grant money to make their bus stops more accessible to the public, something discussed during their Thursday meeting. Greg Harold said the $524,010 grant’s purpose was to “identify and correct barriers to pedestrian accessibility in relation to Transit Stops.” According to the presentation, the construction began in late-February and finished on July 27. While ... (click for more)

Opinion

City Arborist Gene Hyde Saw The Forest For The Trees

Even with sincere environmental and conservation aspirations, it is unusual for a municipality to employ an arborist and city forestry expert. The city of Chattanooga and its mayors— from many administrations ago—are to be congratulated for possessing the foresight, good judgment and environmental stewardship that enabled Gene Hyde to serve our city. Associated with my environmental ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Truthful Politician

The most candid and easily the most unique politician in the nation’s November election is Aria DiMezzo. The reason is Aria swears “to tell the truth – nothing but the truth, and whole truth, so help me” -- about everything, believed by some as impossible in the political realm. Actually, it is even more impossible for anyone with Airi’s lifestyle choices to be elected in any vote ... (click for more)

Sports

Veteran Leadership - Zeca and Hernandez Propel CFC to Conference Title

The second goal in CFC’s 3-0 win over New Amsterdam was truly vintage for the best team in NISA’s Eastern Conference. After the New York team used an overhead kick to clear the ball, CFC’s Juan Hernandez positioned himself underneath it around midfield and then corralled it with a running start. Beside him was Zeca, who readied himself for one of his trademark runs down the ... (click for more)

Red Wolves Win Over Omaha 2-0

The Chattanooga Red Wolves 2-0 victory over Union Omaha felt both closer and more distant than the score indicated. While coach Obleda’s team in red did not dominate in terms of shots or possession, they never seemed to be in danger of losing the lead. That margin began to take form in the 18th minute, when Ricardo Zacarias made a fantastic run in the 18th minute. “I started ... (click for more)