By Frank Lewis
Area thefts have been reduced and more people in Scioto County are able to rest better knowing that by disposing of their expired drugs, they are less likely to be a target of drug thieves and addicts. Now U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has announced that, following his urging, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will reinstate its National Take-Back Initiative (NTBI) – a program that sponsors events where Americans can safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, reducing the amount of expired or unused prescription drugs for illegal use or prescription drug abuse.
At the last DEA-sponsored National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event, the DEA and more than 4,000 of its partners collected 309 tons of unwanted drugs at nearly 5,500 sites around the country, bringing the total amount of drugs collected in four years to more than 2,400 tons. The next Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be Sept. 26.
In addition to Drug Take-Back Day, there are receptacles in which you can place unwanted drugs in the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Office and in the New Boston Police Department.
“Abuse of prescription drugs—especially painkillers—can devastate communities. Too many young people can get prescription drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin from family and friends who no longer use the medicine they were legally prescribed,” Brown said. “I worked to reinstate National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day so Ohioans can safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.”
Brown said Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug poisoning increased 366 percent from 2000 to 2012 and in 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record. Five Ohioans died every day in 2012 from unintentional drug overdoses. Prescription pain medications, such as oxycodone, morphine, and methadone are largely responsible for increasing numbers of overdoses and deaths in Ohio.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) the State of Ohio showed their support and dedication in fighting the prescription pill epidemic from the Fall 2010 through September 2014 by disposing of over 185,000 pounds of unwanted and unused prescription drugs in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative. In a press conference today, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg announced that the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back will take place September 26th from 10 am-2 pm local time. As with the previous nine Take-Back events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.
In the State of Ohio, during the past nine collections, the DEA has partnered with at least 133 state and local law enforcement partners, to host between 204 and 288 take back locations statewide. The DEA is in the process of reaching out to all law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Ohio in an effort to gain more participants and collection sites and hope that this Prescription Take Back will be one of the most successful collections to date.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.