MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - It's a significant problem in the community, opioid and prescription drug abuse.
"Something that usually gets left out of the conversation you know is prescription drug abuse because prescription drugs are legal, for the most part, and people don't see them as a significant problem," Kevin Thompson, Evaluator at the Prevention Resource Center said.
The prevention resource center collects data year around both from youth and adults.
Despite the national average of opioid and prescription drug abuse declining their data shows our area, which includes 30 counties including Midland and Ector, is seeing an increase especially among youth.
"I think that for Midland and Ector County, we have more opioid available and prescribed, more so than the state average," Thompson said.
The state of Texas ranks number two in total costs associated with opioid abuse and it continues to be a problem.
"In this area, the perception of harm regarding prescription drugs is on the decline and so people are not, youth in particular, are not perceiving that prescription drugs are in fact, or can be harmful," Thompson said.
It is often a silent problem that Thompson said must be brought to light.
"There was a survey that was hosted in Midland over at MISD and they were able to determine through their survey that over the past few years parents are having less and less conversations with their kids about prescription drugs or drug abuse in general," he said.
With these drugs readily available to the community, Thompson said the issue is an epidemic right in our backyard.
To bring awareness to this issue the resource center is holding a town hall meeting tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the region 18 education center.
That it located on force boulevard by the airport.
There will be a youth and adult component and everyone in the public is invited to attend.