I would like to thank the following people for encouragement,
support and guidance.
Dr. Iris Smith for her excellent guidance and a good measure of patience as I worked
through edits and rewrites.
Dr. David Westfall for serving as my field advisor and mentor through the thesis process,
as well as, his unwavering support and encouragement throughout my completion of the
Mr. J.P. Banks and members of the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County for
the opportunity to be a part of this initiative to reduce prescription drug abuse.
My wife, Karen, who has been overwhelmingly remarkable in her support,
encouragement, and patience.
The Emory University professors and staff that made this opportunity a unique learning
experience and especially to Moose and Melissa for always taking time to offer advice
Prescription Drug Abuse in Hall County, Georgia: A Tough Pill to Swallow
Prescription drug abuse has become a public health crisis in our
nation, state and
local communities. Every day in the U.S., 2,500 youth try prescription drugs non-
medically for the first time, which adds almost one million new users every year to the
approximately 48 million people who have abused prescription drugs. In Hall County,
14.24% of high school seniors said that they used prescription drugs non-medically.
Societal costs on the national level for prescription drug misuse and abuse surpassed $55.7
billion in 2007, including $25.6 billion workplace costs, $25 billion healthcare costs, and
$5.1 billion criminal justice costs.
Behavior or attitude of individuals, and particularly youth that leads to the misuse
of prescription drugs is important. One-in-three teens believes there is
nothing wrong with abusing prescription drugs every once in awhile, and one-in-six adults
say they would share their prescription drugs with others. These beliefs can result
in negative health consequences.
Identifying interventions that raise awareness, change behaviors, change policy, or
reduce/eliminate access to prescription drugs can be effective in reducing diversion of these
drugs for non-medical use and subsequent abuse. Three steps individuals can take to reduce
abuse are to monitor and secure personal prescription drugs, and dispose of expired and
unused prescription drugs.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Title Page ii
Distribution Statement iii
Notice to Borrowers iv
Curriculum Vitae v
Table of Contents ix
List of Tables x
List of Figures xi
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
Problem Statement 1
Theoretical Framework 2
Research Question 5
Significance Statement 5
Definition of Terms 6
Chapter 2: Literature Review 8
Socioeconomic Burden 8
Behavioral Risk Factors 10
Securing and Disposing of Drugs 12
Chapter 3: Methodology 16
Population and Sample 17
Research Design 18
Data Analysis 19
Limitations and Delimitations 19
Chapter 4: Results 21
Other Findings 29
Chapter 5: Implications and Conclusions 31
Summary of Study 31
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|