America’s fatal “legal drug” problem

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Prescription drug abuse has become a major public health issue in our country. According to Trust for America, a Washington , D.C. based research organization, deaths in America related to drug abuse are greater than those that result from the use of illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine combined.

The abuse of prescription drugs results in a loss of $53 billion annually in medical costs, lost productivity and criminal justice costs, according to a report by Trust for America. The highly-regarded group states that only one of ten Americans with a drug abuse problem receives any type of treatment for their illness.

Deaths from the use of prescribed drugs have risen significantly during the past twenty years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of these deaths were the result of the misuse of substances that were prescribed by licensed health professionals.

Males were 60 percent more likely to die from the use of prescription drugs than women, according to data from the CDC. People between the ages of 45 and 50 experienced a higher death rate than any other age group, the data stated. In one of its reports, the agency states that in 2012, 53 percent of all drug overdose deaths in our country were caused by drugs that were prescribed legally.

A major problem, according to many health officials, is the over-prescription and use of painkillers that contain potentially addictive narcotics. A growing number of medical experts believe that such pain killers should not be available to patients because of their potential for abuse.

Officials at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Dallas describe the abuse of prescription drugs as a “major concern.” The federal officials are alarmed at the increase in the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs.

Throughout our state and our country, health care experts and patient advocate groups have demanded that doctors become more vigilant in prescribing pain relievers, suggesting that they not prescribe potentially addictive medications.

States such as Texas have gotten involved in the battle against addictive drugs and their overuse. The state has an online drug monitoring program that allows doctors and pharmacists to view the drug histories of their patients. The program has helped to curve some abuse.

Many of us know people who are taking prescription drugs that are potentially addictive. In our homes and in our neighborhoods we must increase awareness regarding the harm that can be caused by the improper use of these substances. We owe this much to those that are close to us, and to others who are members of our larger communities.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top