RAYMOND —One after another, people came up to the table expressing thanks for offering the much needed event. It was the fifth DEA Got Drugs Medication Take Back campaign that the Raymond Police Department sponsored in partnership with the Raymond Coalition for Youth. This is a national event that is offered at participating locations across the county. Raymond Hannaford graciously agreed to sponsor the Raymond event at their location to help raise public awareness and offer easy access for those looking to participate.
By the end of the four hour event there were four boxes, totaling 100 pounds, filled with medication that people no longer needed or wanted. The stories that are shared at these events are what make it even more inspiring and meaningful to participate in. We heard from people who had lost loved ones and had boxes full of medication that was no longer needed and they didn't know what to do with it. Others had boxes full of containers they have collected as medication levels had been adjusted and new ones prescribed “No one ever told us what to do with the old ones, thank you for telling us about this event and how to properly get rid of them.” Others turned in left over Percocet or Oxycodone from past surgeries or aliments and just didn't want it in their house any longer.
For these reasons and more we want to thank everyone who helped to advertise, support and contributed to our fifth DEA Got Drugs Take Back event. Combined with the other five events held in the past two years we have collected a total 495 pounds in Raymond. Special thanks go out to Hannaford for hosting our space and the Raymond Police Department for sponsoring this event with RCFY.
As we move forward we are excited to announce that a permanent medication drug drop box is expected to be installed in the Raymond Police Department in the coming months. Once this happens we will be sure to make our community aware of it.
Why are Medication Take Back Events so important? All of this effort to collect unused and expired medications is a response to the fact that Prescription drug misuse amongst all ages is on the rise in our nation. According to the 2008-2009 NSDUH, NH's rate of non-medical use of pain relievers among 18 to 25 year olds was the second highest in the U.S. at a rate of 16.7%. Every day in the United States, more than 2,000 kids use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. Rx medicines are now the most commonly abused drugs among 12-13 year olds. In addition, unintentional drug poisoning is now the leading cause of accidental death in the US - 70 deaths a day - surpassing car accidents.
How can you help? Think about your home. What prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs do you have? Where are they kept? Would you know if some were missing?
You can take immediate steps to limit access to these drugs. Help us to spread awareness and encourage parents, grandparents, friend's coworkers and other adults to safeguard all drugs in the home, monitor prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine quantities and control access. Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider's advice and dosages. Talk about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Remember to be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines and keep medications out of sight and stored in a location that others would not think to look.
For more information on prescription drug disposal guidelines, as well as the risks, signs, and symptoms of teen prescription drug abuse, visit www.TheAntiDrug.com or call 1-800-788-2800. For more information on the Raymond Coalition for Youth or resources for parents and youth please visit www.rcfy.org or check us out on Facebook.