Prescription drug abuse: Stigma often keeps abusers from help - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Prescription drug abuse: Stigma often prevents abusers from seeking treatment

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FORT SMITH (Arkansas News Bureau) — Prescription drug abuse is a disease that can affect people of all walks of life, yet many people do not seek help because of the stigma and possible consequences associated with it.

Those who work in the health-care industry can be especially adverse to seeking treatment, said Dr. Kim Light, pharmacology professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science's College of Pharmacy.

Light said he tells students that prescription drug abuse can be a real problem for aspiring pharmacists.

"Ten to 15 percent tends to be what you hear (nationally). Health-care professionals can be more at risk, and they certainly have more exposure and more access," Light said. "They tend to be extremely intelligent and extremely capable, and able to hide their use more effectively. It diminishes the chances of being detected until the disease is sufficiently advanced, until their cleverness can't keep it under wraps anymore."

Click here for more on this story from the Arkansas News Bureau.