Father shares grief to thwart drug abuse

A free program on the dangers of prescription drug abuse by children will take place tomorrow in the Chester County Government Services Building, District Attorney Tom Hogan announced today.

Sponsored by Safe Kids Chester County, the program will feature Phil Bauer, a nationally recognized expert who lost his son to prescription drug abuse in 2004. The talk will be held at 10 a.m. in the cafeteria of the Government Services Center, 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester.

Calling prescription drug abuse by youth “a growing epidemic,” Hogan said: “Kids today do not need to buy cocaine or heroin off the street. They can just go into a family medicine cabinet and pull equally dangerous prescription drugs off the shelf. Drugs like oxycodone are just as dangerous as illegal street drugs. Parents, educators, and law enforcement must step in to prevent a tragedy."

Bauer, whose son, Mark, died from a lethal mix of oxycodone, acetaminophen, morphine and stimulants on May 28, 2004 - a week before his high school graduation - has become an advocate for preventing similar tragedies. He serves on the Parent Advisory Board for the Partnership at DrugFree.org, the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Injury Community Planning Group, and the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Coalition.

Safe Kids Chester County is a non-profit administered by the Chester County District Attorney's Office that works to reduce and prevent accidental childhood injuries and deaths through a multifaceted strategy of public awareness, education, public policy advocacy, and community action.

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