LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - Several local agencies along with the FBI and DEA, gathered on Wednesday to address the increasing problem of prescription pills landing in the wrong hands.
Sources say this often leads users toward harder drugs.
It's the amount of overdoses and deaths related to opiate use.
According to one addiction counselor, the rate of opiate overdoses across the country has doubled since 2010.
More than 60& of those overdoses are related to prescription medicine abuse.
Members of scan along with agents from the FBI and DEA met with school counselors and local law enforcement to figure out what the community can do to help stop students from becoming addicted to prescription medicine and opiates, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone - which experts say could lead users toward stronger drugs like heroin.
We spoke to an agent from the FBI who shared some alarming facts.
"We've seen an increased number of seizures involving heroin or opiods. We've also seen gang activity where, traditionally in the past, gangs have dealt in cocaine or crack cocaine, they're now dealing heroin as the drug of choice on the street. We're seeing an increase of heroin use by kids in high school as well as drug users that are on the street", said Robert Saale.
Approximately, one in five high school seniors reports misusing prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime.
This is something that school counselors and local agencies like SCAN want to curtail by spreading awareness of the growing cases of prescription drug abuse.
Tonight at ten, we'll hear from district attorney Isidro "Chilo" Alaniz and members of SCAN about what people at home can do to help stop this epidemic.