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Young man reveals addiction to painkillers found in home cabinets

Courtny Gerrish, Stephanie Graham

Young man reveals addiction to painkillers found in home cabinets

CREATED Oct. 27, 2011

Tyler Lybert now enjoys the simple things in life, like riding his motorcycle. He didn't always feel that way. He recalls, "My life was going nowhere, in and out of jail, nothing going for me, destroyed my family."

Tyler is a former heroin addict, but before that, he was hooked on prescription drugs--primarily pain pills.

"When I was addicted all I wanted was the drug--chasing that illusion of the next high," he says.

Tyler got his pills from friends. Kids--getting high right at home thanks to their parents' medicine cabinet.

Dr. Steven Weisman is the Medical Director of Pain Management at Children's Hospital, and a Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  He likes to promote alternative treatments like yoga and physical therapy, but says pain meds are necessary for many patients.

"If you look carefully at the research, people who have good pain relief heal better," he explains.

It's when those pills end up in the wrong hands that tragedy can strike.

Dr. Weisman says there are kids who have died because they didnt understand how potent these meds are."

Luckily, Tyler got help in time, and is more than two years sober. His mom Sandi runs the Addiction Resource Council in Waukesha--to help educate parents about the warning signs.

Parents should lock up pills, and most of all not be afraid to ask for help.

"They need to mindful, aware, and educated about using strong pain meds in their homes," Dr. Weisman explains.

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