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Taylorville, IL 62568
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FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL 1 #10
By Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
I want to tell you about 2 programs that will be coming out later this month. They each represent important steps towards achieving needed progress in major national efforts and deserve the support of all of us.
The first we should consider is the third in a series that began in September, 2010, the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The program is administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and covers the entire United States. The second Take-Back Day in April of this year had 5,361 sites participating. Nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies partnered with DEA to provide the take-back sites.
As a result of these efforts, the total amount of unused or expired prescription drugs brought to the national collection sites produced amazing figures. The 2010 program collected and safely destroyed 121 tons of these drugs. The program this past April increased the tonnage by 55%, collecting 188 tons.
When you consider how little a typical container of prescription drugs weighs, the two-session total of 309 tons, or 618,600 pounds, is an incredible figure.
Why is it so important?
Prescription drug abuse in the US has grown alarmingly. Studies show there are more Americans currently abusing these drugs than the total number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.
In 2009, there were 7 million Americans aged 12 years and older who had abused prescription drugs for non-medical purposes within the previous month.
On average, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.
Why do we see such figures? The survey showed that 2 in 5 teens believe that prescription drugs are “much safer” than illegal drugs. And 3 in 10 don’t believe that prescription pain relievers are addictive. Add to that the fact that such drugs are very often in the house’s medicine chest, and are readily available, and it’s easy to see why the usage has skyrocketed.
The next Take-Back Day will provide an essential opportunity to help fight these prevailing attitudes. By ridding the nation of tons of these preparations, a significant percentage of their ready availability can be eliminated.
The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be Saturday, October 29 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Be sure to watch for announcements and collection points. These four-hour events have produced amazing results. Let’s see if this October 29th session can reach new all-time highs.
Another important event in the campaign to fight drugs begins on October 31, running until November 6. This is National Drug Facts Week, a program designed and run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, a part of NIH, the National Institutes of Health. They work with many government and law enforcement groups to help teens fight drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
And how do they plan to do that?
The NIDA explains their mission this way:
“National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse. Through community-based events and activities on the Web, on TV, and through contests, NIDA is working to encourage teens to get factual answers from scientific experts about drugs and drug abuse.”
To do this they are working with federal, state, and local agencies as well as media companies like MTV and Scholastic, Inc. Teens will be encouraged to take a National Drug IQ Challenge and to join in their Chat Day 2011 on November 1 to ask and hear answers from an experienced group of scientists.
This will be the second annual presentation by NIDA, and they hope to follow up the success of last year’s by enlarging the range of activities and informational material.
Check their web site,
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