Obama Puts Spotlight on Prescription Drug Abuse

President Obama is asking Americans to dispose safely of their unwanted prescription drugs in an effort to draw attention to a growing substance-abuse problem in the country.

“More Americans die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car crashes,” Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday. “And most of those deaths aren’t due to drugs like cocaine or heroin – but rather prescription drugs.”

The president said prescription drug abuse often serves as a gateway to heroin use.

“Many prescription pain medications belong to the same class of drug as heroin,” Obama said. “In fact, four in five heroin users started out by misusing prescription drugs.”