Polk Sheriffs Office, local police sponsor prescription take-back program

Published 3:48 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

As many know, in recent years, North Carolina and the nation have experienced a serious and growing threat from the illegal diversion of controlled substances resulting in deadly consequences. Fatal drug overdoses are now the second leading cause of death due to unintentional injury in the US, exceeded only by motor vehicle deaths.

Even more troubling, law enforcement officials, public health professionals, recent national studies and published reports reveal that the intentional abuse of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives to get high is a growing concern, particularly among teens in the US. In fact, among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused drug behind marijuana. Though overall teen drug use down nationwide, there are troubling signs that teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs and parents are unaware of the problem.

Access to prescription drugs plays a role in unintentional poisonings from overdosing in children and adults and can also contribute to suicide attempts. The home is the primary place prescription drugs are accessed by children and teenagers. In fact, according to the Center on Addiction and Drug Uses latest 2009 national poll of teenagers, one-third of teenagers who use prescription drugs without proper authorization get the drugs in their own home and another third from friends who get them from their home.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

To that end the Polk County Sheriffs Office in cooperation with local police departments, the NCSBI, Safe Kids North Carolina, and the DEA, are sponsoring a prescription medication take-back program during National Poison Prevention Week, March 14 through 20, to prevent accidental poisonings and abuse. You may drop off unused and expired prescription medicines during the following times at the following locations:

Monday March 15

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Food Lion in Columbus

Thursday March 18

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saluda First Baptist Church

Friday March 19

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sunny View Fire & Rescue

Saturday March 20

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tryon Fire Department and also at the Green Creek Family Life Center

For more information contact the Polk County Sheriffs Office at 828-894-3001.