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20 Questions: Prescription Pill Abuse & Heroin Addiction

February 20, 2015  |  Falmouth Enterprise

Dr. Michael Bihari

The Risky Business column has featured a number of articles about the growing problem with the increasing use of prescription pain killers and addiction to heroin. Additionally, there has been numerous articles, editorials, and letters to the editor in the local and regional press. Several community forums have been held and the Falmouth Prevention Partnership has sponsored presentations about the issue in various local venues.

Have you been paying attention? Take the Falmouth Prevention Partnership Opiate Quiz and find out how much you know about the issue.     

Question #1

What percentage of teens who abuse prescription painkillers get the pills from a family member or friend?

A. Less than 20%

B. 20% to 40%

C. 40% to 60%

D. More than 60%

Answer: D - 70% of teens who abuse prescription medicine get it from a family member or friend.

Question #2

Which of the following medications is not a prescription painkiller? 

A. Percocet

B. OxyContin

C. Adderall

D. Vicodin

E. All of them are prescription painkillers

Answer: C - Although often abused, especially by college-aged students, the stimulant Adderall is prescribed for the treatment of ADHD.

Question #3

Nationally, the average age of first abuse of prescription painkillers is? 

A. 11 to 12 years

B. 12 to 13 years

C. 13 to 14 years

D. 14 to 15 years

Answer: B - The average age of the first use of prescription painkillers is 12.5 years.

Question #4

Among seniors (12th grade) at Falmouth High School, which drug or substance is the most abused?

A. Prescription Pain Medication

B. Marijuana

C. Alcohol

D. They are abused equally

Answer: C - In the most recent survey (April 21013) past 30 day use of alcohol was 56.1%, past 30 day use of marijuana was 38.6%, and past 30 day use of prescription pain medication was 1.4%

Question #5

What is academic doping?

A. The use of steroids to improve athletic performance

B. The use of stimulants to enhance academic performance 

C. Staying up all night to study for an exam

D. Snorting cocaine immediately before an exam

E. All of the above

Answer: B - Some college students use prescription stimulants (such as Adderall and Ritalin) thinking that these medications will improve their grades, help them concentrate more in class, or maintain focus while studying.

Question #6

What is prescription pill abuse?

A. Taking someone else’s prescription to self medicate

B. Taking a prescription medication in a way other than prescribed 

C. Taking a prescription medication to get high

D. All of the above

Answer: D - All of these situations are considered prescription pill abuse and can be dangerous.

Question #7

Which country consumes most of the world’s supply of narcotic pain medications?

A. Brazil

B. United States

C. Mexico

D. Russia

Answer: B - The U.S. (with 4.6% of the world’s population) consumes 80% of the world’s supply of narcotic pain medications.

Question #8

What percentage of crime on Cape Cod is related to drugs? 

A. less than 25%

B. 25% to 50%

C. 50% to 75%

D. More than 75%

Answer: D - Depending on the town and the time of year, more than 90% of local crimes are drug-related 

Question #9

Which group has the greatest influence on a teen’s decision not to abuse prescription pills?

A. Local police

B. Parents and grandparents

C. Friends and peers

D. School personnel and coaches

Answer: B - Although all of these groups have significant influence, recent studies document that parents are primary. 

Question #10

What is the best way to dispose of unwanted medications?

A. Flush them down the toilet

B. Take them to the town dump

C. Return them to the pharmacy

D. Take them to the police station drug kiosk

E. Mix them with either kitty litter or used coffee grounds and put in the trash

Answer: D - Bring all unwanted medications to the police station — drop off is free, available 24/7 and no questions asked. The medications are properly stored and disposed of.

Question #11

Which of the following statements about Narcan (Naloxone) is not correct?

A. Narcan is a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid (heroin or narcotic pain medications) overdose

B. Narcan can only be carried and used by emergency responders

C. Narcan cannot be used to get high

D. Narcan cannot cause addiction

Answer: B - Massachusetts allows members of the public to carry Naloxone (administered through a nasal spray) after being trained.

Question #12

Which of the following statements about heroin is correct?

A. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine

B. Most heroin in the U.S. comes from the opium poppy grown in Mexico 

C. Heroin has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use 

D. Both A and C are correct

Answer: D - Most heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from poppies grown in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia; much of the distribution of heroin is via Mexican cartels.

Question #13

Which of the following is not a narcotic or opioid drug? 

A. Oxycodone

B. Vicodin

C. Codeine

D. Xanax

E. Fentanyl

Answer: D - Xanax is used for the treatment of anxiety and is not a narcotic drug.

Question #14

Which of the following statements is correct?

A. 80% of people aged 12 to 49 who recently started to use heroin had previously used prescription pill painkillers nonmedically

B. Less than 4% of people who started the nonmedical use of narcotic pain medication went on to use heroin within five years

C. Both are correct

D. Neither is correct

Answer: C - Both of these facts are correct as documented in a 2013 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Question #15

Which of the following statements about the medication Vivitrol is not correct? 

A. Vivitrol can block the pleasurable feelings associated with using opiates

B. Vivitrol is inexpensive, costing less then $25 for each dose

C. Vivitrol is given by injection once per month

D. Vivitrol is not addictive and has no street value

E. The Vivitrol program at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility is a model for the state

Answer: B - Vivitrol costs more than $800 for each dose.

Question #16

Is the following statement about addiction true or false?

Addiction is a condition that can be controlled by the addict by “being strong” and resisting the temptation to abuse a drug.

A. True

B. False

Answer: B - Addiction is a chronic disease that cannot be cured but can be treated with medication, counseling, and support from family, friends, and community services.

Question #17

Which of the following is not a street name for a commonly abused prescription painkiller?

A. Mary Jane

B. Hillbilly Heroin

C. Perc 30s

D. Demmies

E. Captain Cody

Answer: A - Mary Jane is a street name for marijuana.

Question #18

In a survey, teens listed twelve reasons why it was OK to use prescription drugs. What percent said that their “parents would not care as much if they got caught”? 

A. 12%

B. 21%

C. 34%

D. 47%

Answer: B - The three most common reasons were: easy to get from parent’s medicine cabinets (62%), available everywhere (52%), they are not illegal drugs (51%)

Question #19

Teens who participate in prosocial activities (positive actions that benefit others) are less likely to use drugs. Which of the following activities in Falmouth would be considered prosocial?

A. Volunteering at the Falmouth Service Center

B. Going with friends to Fenway to see the Sox beat the Yankees

C. Helping to organize Falmouth’s No Guff Week

D. Participating as a member of Jack’s PACT

E. All of the above

F. A, C,and D

Answer: F - Attending a social event (such as a baseball game) may be fun, but is not considered a prosocial activity. 

Question #20

Repeated abuse of opiates can change the brain and “hijack” the brain’s reward system. Which of the following is not a correct statement?

A. Large amounts of the chemical dopamine flood your system, creating the “high”

B. You have to wait 24 hours for your brain to go back to normal

C. Things that normally make you happy aren’t fun anymore

D. Drug cravings become nearly impossible to ignore

Answer: B - If you are addicted to drugs and stop using them, it may take many months or even longer for your brain to return to normal.

Bonus Question

Which statement about the Falmouth Prevention Partnership (FPP) is correct? 

A. FPP was started in 2008 with a $650,000 five-year grant to the Town of Falmouth

B. FPP is a community coalition dedicated to decreasing substance abuse in Falmouth youth

C. FPP has been successful in helping to reduce underage drinking at Falmouth High School

D. On January 01, 2014, FPP became part of the Prevention Department at Gosnold on Cape Cod

E. All of the above

Answer: E

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