SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It may have been prescribed by a doctor, but drug abuse of oxycodone is growing in Western Massachusetts.
Holyoke police say over a million dollars was exchanged over the last six months in a prescription drug ring between Holyoke and Florida, where Holyoke, State, and Federal officials arrested 9 people.
The drug oxycodone is a gateway drug to heroin. That is due to the fact that oxycodone is 30 dollars on the street, and a bag of heroin is less than 10 dollars.
It's estimated that the majority of teens and young adults who abuse prescription drugs do it by going into the medicine cabinets of friends, or relatives, without their knowledge.
This doesn't come as a surprise to young people. Natasha Vaugh of Springfield told 22News, "There's leftover pills in the medicine cabinet, and one thing leads to another, and then it's, ‘oh what are you doing with that, can I have that.'"
According to Liz Nieves of Holyoke, "In high school a lot of people think about experimenting so I guess it should be a concern to parents to make sure their kids aren't exposed to that stuff."
If you're concerned about prescription drugs that you may have in your medicine cabinets, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27th.
To find a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day location near you click here .
For more information on the National Take Back Initiative click here .