Law Enforcement Agencies Team With Jefferson County Public Schools To Increase Awareness Of Prescription Drug Abuse
– Take-Back initiative to safely remove prescription pain pills from Kentuckiana homes
LOUISVILLE, KY – Kentuckiana residents have an opportunity this week to dramatically reduce the risk of students abusing pain pills by ridding their homes of unused prescription pain medications. Today, federal and local law enforcement agencies announced their collaboration with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to increase awareness of prescription drug abuse among school aged teens and the opportunity to reduce the availability of prescription pain medications in Kentuckiana homes. This Saturday, April 28, 2012, JCPS will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative by offering a medication collection site at the VanHoose Education Center from 10am to 2:00 pm. The collection site will be staffed by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
U.S. Attorney David J. Hale is encouraging families to clean out medicine cabinets and safely rid their homes of unwanted and expired prescription medications. “At the recent Prescription Pain Pill Summit, we learned that teenagers may believe prescription drugs are ‘safe’ because they are legal when prescribed by a healthcare professional. However, when misused, or abused, these opiate based drugs including Hydrocodone and Oxycodone can become just as deadly as illicit substances, underscoring the urgent need to increase public awareness, ” stated U.S. Attorney Hale.
“It will take a coordinated, collaborative effort to stop this epidemic and safe guard the future of our children. Community Take Back Programs are vital to raising awareness and reducing the availability of prescription drugs to teenagers. The school district is pleased to support this effort,” stated Dr. Donna Hargens, Superintendent JCPS.
Jefferson County’s Sheriff, Col. John Aubrey stated he is pleased to support this DEA initiative with Jefferson County Public Schools, noting that his staff will man the Take-Back site at VanHoose Education Center this Saturday and that “this is one more tool we can provide along with our Student Resource Officers to help reduce crime, drug abuse and violence while maintaining a safe school environment.”
The three prior National Prescription Drug Take-Back days have resulted in removing nearly 500 tons of unneeded medication from circulation in our communities. Kentucky is ranked fourth in the nation among the most medicated states.
“It is critical that we as parents and community members are educating our children of the dangers of diverted prescription drugs. The Take-Back is a great opportunity to initiate this dialogue as well as help eliminate one of the most common ways that our children are obtaining pharmaceuticals for illicit use,” stated DEA Louisville Special Agent Tom Gorman.
Louisville Metro Chief of Police, Steve Conrad has commented that “Combating the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is everyone’s responsibility, as a matter of public safety. The Prescription Drug Take-Back allows residents to be part of the solution to this growing problem that plagues so many communities”
The Prescription Drug Take-Back is part of a nationwide effort sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Containers where unwanted and expired prescription medications may be safely disposed will be at six Jefferson County locations Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and one downtown Louisville location Friday, April 27th. The collection sites will be staffed by Louisville Metro Police, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Hurstborne Acres Police Department, and in Indiana, Clarksville Police Department. The community is encouraged to locate a collection site and remove these unwanted or expired medications from their homes.
U.S. Attorney Hale concluded by stating, “Parents need to be aware that their unused or leftover prescription narcotics can be a source of supply for their kids. By taking advantage of this take-back event, parents can reduce the risk of abuse.”
Locations include: Kroger parking lot at 2710 W Broadway; Clarksville Town Building (entrance off Veterans Parkway) 1970 Broadway, Clarksville, Indiana; Jefferson County Public Schools, 3332 Newburg Road; Hurstborne Acres City Hall Police Department, 1940 ½ S. Hurstborne Parkway; Kroger parking lot at 3039 Breckenridge Lane; Kroger parking lot at 6900 Bardstown Road; and Friday, April 27, 2012, Fiscal Court Building, 531 Court Place 6th Floor, Louisville.