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Poison Control points out local emerging drug abuse trends

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Washington Poison Center experts say drug abuse in our Tri-Cities is prevalent, expanding and targeting our teens as options become more attainable.

While meth and heroin use continue, Washington Poison Center's Clinical Managing Director Dr. Alexander Garrard says prescription pain pill abuse is especially spiking in our region.

Additionally, Dr. Garrard has noted that people are increasingly abusing what they can easily get their hands on, and the vices are growing. He says over the counter medications are becoming increasingly dangerous as people report taking them in extremely high doses.

"It's the new stuff like bath salts, synthetic marijuana, even drugs like Imodium and Benadryl," said Dr. Garrard, adding "You would never think they could be abused, but they are actually starting to be abused now."

The poison center notes that over using cough suppressants, a trend known as "robo-tripping," has become especially prevalent among high schoolers in our state.

Poison control says that in reality, the "just say no" technique doesn't work anymore. Instead, they want parents to take a "harm reduction" approach.

"Probably the number one thing for parents to remember to do is to keep those lines of communication open," said Dr. Garrard, adding "If your child starts talking, that is the time to stop everything and engage in that conversation."

The poison center urges all parents to tell their kids about the Good Samaritan Law. They want to stress how important it is to immediately call for help at first signs of overdose, instead of hesitating to think about legal repercussions.

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