October 28, 2016

Guest Column (8/27/09)

Prescription drug abuse touches everyone

Aug. 27, 2009

By Barbara Cimaglio

The social use, misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is a growing concern in Vermont. One of our roles at the Vermont Department of Health is to raise awareness about the circumstances that too often lead to prescription drug addiction.

Prescription narcotics are readily available in many home medicine cabinets. Because children, family members or workers who may come into your home can access them there, the medicine cabinet is a common source of drugs that are used accidently or illegally. In fact, the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 16 percent of Vermont students said they had taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.

When your health care provider prescribes a narcotic or other controlled substance for you, make sure that you understand the medication’s addictive potential. Talk with your provider about how you will work together to monitor your reactions to the medication and make any needed adjustments. If you will be on the medication for an extended period of time, it is essential to work closely with your provider to reduce the dose gradually as your condition improves. If you are under care for long-term pain, ensure that your provider has the expertise to properly manage the medications and can work with you to avoid health risks associated with narcotics.

Narcotics are powerful medicines. Used correctly, they can help us cope with severe pain and other symptoms. Used incorrectly, a struggle with addiction can take hold and rapidly erode a person’s quality of life and ability to function in his or her daily life.

Pay attention to the pills you are prescribed, follow the guidance of your health care provider and prevent the medication from falling into the wrong hands.

For more information, visit the Vermont Department of Health Web site: www.healthvermont.gov/adap/RxOTCabuse.aspx.

Barbara Cimaglio is the deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health’s
Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs.



  1. Mary Martin says:

    I would like to explain the charges of unlawful restraint because it sounds really awful. No we didn’t hold anyone hostage. We were simply standing in front of some VT Gas/Michel’s trucks. They were in no way restrained. When the men decided to leave, they simply backed up and took off. The police have been hired by VT Gas and they sure do have a way of turning a phrase.

    Mr. Recchia refers to this action as a “last-ditch” attempt to scuttle the pipeline. Wrong again! This was far from our last attempt to bring sanity and reason to our state officials who refuse to listen or help.

    Nate Palmer and Kari Cuneo and their families are not the only land owners who have fought this immoral taking of their land. So many folks have lost that fight for lack of time and money. It’s quite intimidating to go before the Public Service Board and their team of lawyers, to sit down at a table filled with VT Gas attorneys and not have anyone to watch your back and advise you.

    When people are up against the wall, they fight back any way they can. Peaceful protests not only express our frustration but they help bring attention to what is happening to our friends and neighbors..

    So Mr. Recchia, we are not done!

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