LAS VEGAS -- Clark County schools are working to fight the growing national problem of prescription drug abuse. School police say they've seen kids suffering bad reactions from taking drugs they were never prescribed.
Traditionally, law enforcement focuses on illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana but, last year, there were at least 186 cases of unauthorized prescription drug use.
Penny Klein's treasure is close to her heart. "She's perfect," boasts Klein, as she waits outside Greenspun Junior High School for her granddaughter. Abigail is a new eighth grader at the Henderson school.
Klein said she is glad that the school district is cracking down on unauthorized prescription use in the schools.
"So many students, so many prescriptions, what if the wrong prescription got into the wrong hands by accident?"
Captain Ken Young, with the school police, said what he's seeing in Clark County schools matches a national trend of teens using prescription drugs they find at home.
"The question becomes: could there be more? Yeah, there could be," Young said.
He said the best prevention starts at home. He advises parents to inventory the prescription medications in their home and to monitor children for extreme behavior changes that could signal drug use.
He encourages students to report drug abuse to school officials.
"This is a friend's life that I could be saving. Who knows what this person is going to go on to do in life. They're going to do some great things, but they have to be here to do it," Jones said.
Prescription drug abuse can be reported anonymously by calling (702)799-0228.
The parents of elementary school students who must take prescription medication need to notify the school nurse so that person can administer the medicine.
Students in middle school or high school can administer their own medicine but parents need to have written permission filed with the school office. The medication must also be in a labeled container with the student's name and the dosage information.
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