Law Enforcement Agencies Team With Bowling Green Independent And Warren County Public Schools To Increase Awareness Of Prescription Drug Abuse
– Take-Back initiative to safely remove prescription pain pills from Warren County homes
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Warren County, Kentucky 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 the Bowling Green Independent Schools and Warren County Public Schools to increase awareness of prescription drug abuse among school aged teens and to reduce the availability of prescription pain medications in Kentucky homes. This Saturday, September 29, 2012, the two school systems and law enforcement will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative by offering three medication collection sites in Warren County.
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. “We learned during our Prescription Pain Pill Summit this year 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.
Joe Tinius, Bowling Green Independent Schools Superintendent stated, “The Prescription Drug Take-Back is an opportunity to educate our students and families about the dangers of prescription drugs, as well as an opportunity for our families and community to rid their homes of medicine that could be misused.”
"Prescription drugs can be one of the greatest threats to our students because of how accessible they are to children in their own homes," said WCPS Superintendent Tim Murley. "We appreciate the efforts being made by the U.S. Attorney's Office as it raises awareness about this issue with our families while also giving them the opportunity to act and prevent drugs from getting into the wrong hands."
Last spring, Kentuckiana residents assisted in dramatically reducing the risk of students abusing pain pills by ridding their homes of 1,839 pounds of unused prescription pain medications. These unwanted medications were collected at nine metro Louisville locations and included one collection box at the Jefferson County Public Schools’ headquarters. Federal and local law enforcement agencies partnered with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) for the first time last spring and will join forces again this week with a collection site at the JCPS VanHoose Education Center.
The four prior National Prescription Drug Take-Back days have resulted in removing 774 tons of unneeded medication from circulation in our communities. Kentucky is ranked fourth in the nation among the most medicated states. New data released by the Partnership at Drugfree.Org indicates prescription medicines are the most commonly abused drugs among kids ages 12-13.
“It is critical that we as parents and community members are educating our children about 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 Tom Gorman.
“It isn’t uncommon for pain medications prescribed for acute conditions to go unused and remain in homes after the medical necessity for the medication has passed. Unused pain medication initially intended for legitimate medical treatment can become a source for illegitimate use if left in the home following treatment. We encourage all families to inventory their prescribed medications, identify those medications that are no longer necessary and use this opportunity to make your homes, schools and neighborhoods safer through the proper and safe disposal of all unnecessary prescribed medications,” stated Chief Doug Hawkins.
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 three Warren County locations Saturday, September 29th from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The collection sites will be staffed by the Bowling Green Police Department, Bowling Green Warren Co. Drug Task Force, Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police. The community is encouraged to locate a collection site and remove these unwanted or expired medications from their homes.
Locations in Warren County include: Bowling Green Police Department, 911 Kentucky Street; Safety City, 5065 Scottsville Road; Kentucky State Police Post, 3119 Nashville Road; and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, 429 E 10th Ave # 102, Bowling Green.
United States Attorney’s Offices have joined the Partnership at Drugfree.org to promote a multi-year campaign entitled the ‘Medicine Abuse Project.’ For more information go to www.drugfree.org
More information on how to properly dispose of unused medicines can be found at FDA: Disposal of Unused Medicines http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/ EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm