It’s good for the purity of our water supplies.
It’s good for the collective environment.
It’s good for the safety of our children.
It’s good for the early prevention of addictions that can worsen with time.
It’s good for the elimination of unintended abuses that can arise from family members or friends sharing prescribed medication for common illnesses.
It’s good for the stoppage of accidental poisonings from the use of outdated medicines like antibiotics, cough syrup, muscle relaxers, pain relievers and a medicine chest full of others.
This year’s Prescription Drug Take-Back is again made available to area residents compliments of a partnership between the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, which is providing the central location for dropoff, and Going Respectfully Against Addictive Behaviors, which is furnishing the reminders, the information and the marketing promotions.
A comment by Tanya Southerland, executive director of the GRAAB Coalition, eloquently tells the knowing and sobering truth behind why programs like the Prescription Drug Take-Back are needed.
“While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug nonmedically. To provide this service to our community, we are reducing the number of prescription drugs the youth could potentially get access to and abuse.”
Her words sadly are true.
On a national level, the Prescription Drug Take-Back is coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, another agency well-versed in the hidden — and not so hidden — truths behind America’s ongoing fight against drug abuse and addiction.
According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health coordinated through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. The same study reveals more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or relatives.
This isn’t merely a reference to family members or friends handing unused prescription drugs over to others. It includes the raiding of family medicine cabinets by unauthorized persons.
At the risk of redundancy, let us repeat a couple of these numbers because they bear repeating. More than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, and more than 70 percent got their start by using — or stealing — the pain medication prescribed for family members or friends.
Don’t give away prescription medications to others. Don’t sell them. Don’t loan them. Don’t flush them, because they contaminate our water sources. And don’t toss them into the household trash, because they find their way to the Bradley County Landfill.
Bradley County’s Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative will be held this week, from Monday, April 22, through Saturday, April 27.
Hours for collection are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Prescription drugs should be taken to the criminal investigations entrance of the Bradley County Judicial Center. It is located on the south side of the complex facing APD 40.
Participating in this program offers a plethora of benefits.
But the two that most readily come to our mind? It saves the environment. And it saves lives.