by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - The Behavioral Centers of America in the Permian Basin has seen a growing increase in young teens abusing prescription drugs. In fact, they're seeing so many patients that they're having to hire more doctors to meet the demand.
"It's an up and coming problem with all kinds of prescription medication," Dr. Roddy Strobel said.
Pill popping popularity is growing at an alarming rate here in the Permian Basin.
"There are many kids that are pill swapping at school, and depending on controlled substance, it's a felony. At parties, you fill a bowl of pills and take them until you get high; it's lethal," Dr. Strobel said.
Doctors say it's getting so bad, they're running out of room to treat kids that can't control their problem.
"Currently we have 12 beds for teens and drug abuse, but I can say in the last week we have been full. It's a dire situation," Tamara Carrell, Director of Business Development at BCA, said.
Now they're working with an outpatient clinic trying to keep up with the demand.
"The patients we see need to see an outpatient psychiatrist and that's where we send them to Dr. Strobel. We're also trying to find more doctors to help us as well," Carrell said.
Tamara Carrell says prescription drug abuse is a growing problem among teens and adults.
BCA of the Permian Basin just opened their geriatric facility and began taking elderly patients dealing with the same issue.