When we hear about the war on drugs we often think of helicopters flying low over fields somewhere in South America or Mexico. We might also think of some back street, back alley transaction under cover of darkness.

It's true those images are part of the drug trade in America. However, one of our nation's growing drug problems begins in the medicine cabinets of many suburban and small town homes.

Opioid abuse is on the fast track to becoming a major national problem as more and more states are seeing increases in death, overdoses, and misuse of these popular pain relieving medications.

Often the "addiction" begins with a prescription from a legitimate doctor's visit. The medicines are obtained through legal means through a local pharmacy. That's all well and good. These are incredible medications when used properly and under a doctor's supervision.

It's when the misuse of these medications occur that the bigger problems begin. It is becoming more and more common for that misuse to end with addiction or death. You'd have to admit, those are pretty big problems.

EndTheEpidemicLA.org is a new resource website this is now up and running in our state. Its purpose is to increase awareness about the use of opioid medications, their misuse, and proper steps to take should someone you know have an opioid issue.

There is also a new Opioid Abuse Prevention Fund that will provide money for awareness campaigns across the state. This fund is made possible through a partnership with Louisiana Ambulance Alliance and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.