Law Enforcement Agencies to Team Again With Jefferson County Public Schools to Increase Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse
– DEA Take-Back initiative to safely remove prescription pain pills from local homes
– Nearly 2,000 pounds of unwanted narcotics collected locally during the spring Take-Back collection
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 second 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 local homes. This Saturday, September 29, 2012, JCPS will again participate in the National DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative by offering a medication collection site at the VanHoose Education Center this Saturday from 10 am 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. “We know that two-thirds of all teenagers who abuse prescription narcotics first obtain the drugs from family and friends. Parents and grandparents can help keep their kids safe by taking a few actions. First, take care to assess and secure the prescription narcotics in your home. Unneeded prescription narcotics should be disposed in a safe manner. Next, parents need to talk with their kids about the dangers of abusing prescription narcotics. We need every parent to make sure their kids understand that taking any prescription medication without the guidance of a medical professional can be very dangerous.” stated U.S. Attorney Hale.
“A coordinated and collaborative effort is absolutely essential to reducing the availability of prescription drugs to teenagers and halting this epidemic,” said Dr. Donna Hargens, Superintendent of JCPS. “We are pleased to support this and other efforts that raise awareness about this important issue and will move the district closer to ensuring all of our schools are drug free.”
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.
Jefferson County Sheriff, Col. John Aubrey, stated he is pleased to once again support this DEA initiative with Jefferson County Public Schools, noting that his department will again staff 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 four prior National DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back days have resulted in removing nearly 774 tons of unneeded medication from circulation in our local 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 Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration.
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, September 29, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and one downtown Louisville location Friday, September 28th. The collection sites will be staffed by Louisville Metro Police, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Hurstbourne 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, “We are grateful for the leadership of the DEA on the local and national take-back initiatives, and for our very effective partnerships with the Sheriff’s Office, LMPD, and the Jefferson County Schools.”
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 on the Food & Drug Administration website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/ EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm
The VanHoose Education Center is conveniently located just off the Watterson Expressway at 3332 Newburg Road in Louisville.
Other area take-back locations include: Jefferson Mall; 810 Barrett Avenue (in front of the Urban Government Center); Kroger, 5929 Timber Ridge Drive Prospect, Kentucky; Clarksville, Indiana Town Building (entrance off Veterans Parkway) 1970 Broadway, Clarksville, Indiana; Hurstbourne Acres City Police Department, 1940 ½ S. Hurstbourne Parkway (across from Wal-Mart); and on Friday, September 28, 2012, Corner of 6th & Jefferson Streets, downtown Louisville from 9am to 2pm.