Reader Submitted

Rotary hosts drug forum

Friday, September 21, 2012

America’s largest and fastest growing drug problem no longer resides on the urban street corners or with the dealers swapping cash for illegal narcotics. Rather, they reside in doctor’s offices, pharmacies and middle-class neighborhoods where they can accumulate through legal prescriptions and shared relatively openly with others.

Prescription drugs have nearly surpassed common illegal narcotics of marijuana, heroin and cocaine as the “drug of choice” by young people and adults because they can be relatively easily obtained and shared with others with little risk to the doctor or the recipient.

This movement toward the abuse of prescription drugs and medication will be subject of a forum at Hollis Brookline High School, sponsored by the Hollis Brookline Rotary Club and the high school. The forum is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m., at Hollis Brookline High School Auditorium.

Rotarian, Hollis pharmacist and commissioner of the N.H. Board of Pharmacy, Vahrij Manoukian is playing a key role in the forum and has brought similar forums to the high schools in Nashua. Manoukian said the prescription drug abuse problem is not limited to the local area.

“It is a national issue,” he said.

Manoukian, who will sit on the panel at the forum with representatives from the N.H. Board of Pharmacy, students of Mass. College of Pharmacy, and high school guidance department, said recreation drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are no longer as “powerful” a problem as prescription drugs.

“One in 10 students have tried prescription drugs not prescribed to them,” Manoukian said.

Such a trend led to the enactment of a bill signed by the governor last June aimed at the problem.

The bill known as PMP bill seeks to stop “doctor shopping” where people go to different doctors with the same ailment and obtain prescriptions.

The drugs can accumulate relatively rapidly and then easily shared with others.

“Prescription drug abuse is killing our future generation,” Manoukian said. “Hollis Brookline Rotary Club and High School are sponsoring a forum at High School Auditorium to talk about ‘How can we stop this from happening.’

The forum is open to students, parents, and community members and everyone is invited.

Rotary is a global network of community volunteers who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build global peace and understanding.

The Hollis Brookline Rotary Club meets each Wednesday morning at 7:15 for breakfast at the Brookline Event Center on Route 130.

For more information about the club, visit the website at

– Submitted by
Venu Rao

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