The arrest and subsequent rehab journey of former OSU basketball coach Sean Sutton puts a high-profile face on prescription drug abuse. Obtaining and abusing pain pills is much more widespread than many Oklahomans realize. A local bust in an alleged pain pill ring a few weeks ago sent up flags throughout our community.

Mr. Sutton, whose father and fellow coach, Eddie Sutton, struggled with addiction issues for years, faces felony charges of attempting to illegally obtain prescription drugs. Sean’s wife, Trena, spoke Monday during a press conference for Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Week.

The drugs seem to be readily available and often are prescribed for chronic pain problems or following surgeries. Unlike illegal methamphetamine abuse, the pills are prescribed and are readily available.

Roundups of pills by our sheriff’s department brings in thousands of leftover pills. Often, it’s the home medicine cabinet that starts youngsters and others down the pain pill journey.

Mrs. Sutton’s appearance at Monday’s press conference was in hopes of sparing other families the same journey. She cautioned families to avoid ever sharing prescriptions.

“Know your family’s history and be sure that your physician knows your family’s history,” she told reporters. “Because those with a genetic predisposition to addiction, they have to be especially cautious.”

Her appearance Monday was an act of courage for a family in crisis. We wish them well in their recovery.

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