U.S. Attorney’s Office, DEA, and Challenge of Tarrant County Continue Efforts to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention PSA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Red Ribbon Week Campaign
FORT WORTH, Texas – At a press event held this afternoon, U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Calvin Bond of Dallas DEA, and Executive Director Jennifer Gilley of Challenge of Tarrant County discussed their combined and continued efforts in raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse. October 2016 has been proclaimed National Youth Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder Prevention Month by President Obama.
The press event was held at Cinemark Alliance Town Center in far north Fort Worth. Stay on Track, a program of Challenge of Tarrant County, is sponsoring the theatre campaign in which Cinemark Alliance Town Center will run a public service announcement (PSA) –recently produced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address the dangers of prescription drug abuse – in advance of its feature films.
Since the home medicine cabinet is the number-one source of prescription pills for teens and young adults, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bond announced that this Saturday, October 22, 2016, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and stressed that Take-Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of unused prescription drugs. There are numerous collection sites throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex; find the location closest to you here.
Next week is also DEA Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program that reaches millions of Americans during the last week of October each year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community “Living Drug Free” events, youngsters pledge to live a drug-free lifestyle and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, whose tragic murder in 1985 by drug traffickers in Mexico, where he was investigating that country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers, brought needed attention to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.
Challenge of Tarrant County continues its anti-drug efforts with PSAs in movie theatres in Tarrant County as well as during football games at the Keller ISD Athletic complex. It has also sponsored billboards in Tarrant County with the messages “Don’t let a prescription become an addiction. Safe Use/Safe Storage/Safe Disposal,” and “Before it’s prescribed, you decide.” Challenge of Tarrant County also has implemented prescription drug abuse prevention campaigns throughout Keller and Keller ISD.
Last month, Challenge of Tarrant County sponsored two highly successful events that brought community leaders and stakeholders together to address substance abuse prevention priorities, including prescription drug misuse and abuse in adolescents and young adults, underage drinking, and binge drinking. One event, a Prescription Town Hall meeting in Keller was attended by more than 100 members of the Keller Community. The other, a day-long symposium, “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem: A Community Response to the Opiate Epidemic” was attended by more than 800 individuals.
During Saturday’s Take-Back Day, Challenge of Tarrant County will be working with the Keller Police Department and Cook Children’s Pediatric, and their Lock Your Meds Campaign will run in conjunction with DEA’s Red Ribbon Week.
For more information about Stay on Track Challenge of Tarrant County, contact Cynthia Velazquez, program director, at Cynthia@tcchallenge.org
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