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Taking action against prescription drug abuse

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Oct. 16, 2015) -- The Department of Justice is taking action against prescription drug abuse. Experts say abuse of those pills can lead to much harder addictions to things like Heroin, and in Wisconsin, Heroin is a big problem.

The comfort, the numbness, the relaxation that comes with doctor prescribed pain pills. Many people can take them for the allotted time and be done. Others may not be able to stop and it becomes an addiction.

"It is so easy for them to slip in to a bathroom and take one pill, or five pill, or 10 pill that you might never know are gone," says Amy Lindner, President and CEO of Meta House, which offers substance abuse treatment services to help women reclaim their lives from the effects of drugs or alcohol.

Pain pill addiction can become an addiction to Heroin very quickly.

"A lot of opiates were specifically chemically created to mimic exactly what Heroin does to your brain," Lindner said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) says people between the ages 12 and 25 are more susceptible to getting hooked on prescription painkillers and that leads to issues with heroin later on. That's why they are doing their drug take back day tomorrow, to get you to toss your unused pills safely. There is a lot of unused pills out there. Nearly 20 tons of pills were collected across the state from September of 2014 to May of 2015 according to DOJ figures.

"You have them sitting around, after knee surgery, you didn't use them all, suddenly your teenager is getting their hands on them, giving them to their friends. It leads to heroin use later on," says Danielle Long, a Criminal Justice Policy Analyst with the Department of Justice.

The DOJ has their "Dose of Reality" campaign going on, which talks more about the epidemic in our state. You can click here to get more information on that and to find a pill drop off location near you.

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