FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ohio ranked at the top for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ground breaking Rx Drug Take Back Day
Buckeye State reeled in more than 14, 000 pounds of prescriptions in one day
(Columbus, OH- October 29, 2010) Nearly one month after the first-ever national prescription drug take back day hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) got underway, the totals are in- Ohio shined above the rest for the drug awareness event.
According to the U.S. DEA’s regional office in Detroit, MI, Ohio ranked in the top 5 in terms of the amount of prescription drugs the state collected- a grand total of 14,501 pounds with 204 collection sites in Ohio.
On September 25, Ohio leaders from Governor Ted Strickland’s Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force joined with the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County to officially kick off the national awareness day devoted to turning in unused or old prescription drugs to law enforcement. The event was conducted simultaneously around the country from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. local time. The drop off service was free and anonymous - no questions asked.
Ohio Department of Public Safety Assistant Director George Maier, who also serves as the Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force’s (OPDATF) Chair, joined the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County, Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Director Angela C. Dawson, who is also a member of the OPDATF, law enforcement, and local elected officials at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office for the Take Back Day.
“Thanks to the hard work by Ohioans, several state agencies, Boards, providers, and law enforcement the event was a success,” said Director Dawson. “It is important to remember to keep the awareness of prescription drug/opiate abuse in our communities throughout the year. In Ohio, prescription drug abuse is becoming entrenched in communities both large and small. Most of us, if not all of us, know someone, or a loved one, touched by addiction. Our goal at all times must be to ensure prevention, treatment and recovery support services remain well-funded and accessible to all who need them and to help reduce the stigma that underlies the disease of addiction.”
According to the DEA, approximately 4,000 communities in 49 states participated and 121 tons of prescriptions were collected nationally on September 25.
Coming up on Saturday, November 13, the American Medicine Chest Challenge will get underway. This event is also nationally recognized and is spearheaded by The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey in effort to remove unwanted and unnecessary prescriptions from Americans’ medicine chests. ODADAS is a member of The Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America). Find out more information about the Medicine Chest Challenge at: http://www.americanmedicinechest.com/
Additionally, prescription drug take back programs are scheduled throughout the year in Ohio through ODADAS’ community-based system of local Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS)/Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) Boards and treatment and prevention providers and coalitions. For more information about take back programs, visit ODADAS’ website at http://www.odadas.ohio.gov/.
Prescription Drug Abuse Facts:
§ There are three classes of prescription drugs that are most commonly abused, which include opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, and morphine; central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines; stimulants such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate (Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy 2010)
§ According to the DEA (2009), nearly seven million Americans (youth and adults) are abusing prescription drugs; that's more than the number who abuse heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and hallucinogens combined. These legal painkillers are the newest drug of choice among drug users and the leading cause of drug overdoses.
§ In Ohio, since 2007, there have been more deaths from drug overdose than from motor vehicle traffic crashes (Source: Ohio Department of Health (ODH) 2009).
§ Every day, 2,500 teenagers (1 in 5) use a prescription drug to get high for the first time (Source: The Partnership @ Drugfree.org 2009).
§ The DEA has a toll-free international hotline to report the illegal sale and abuse of prescription drugs: 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873). The DEA also provides guidelines on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs throughout the year at: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/prescr_drg_abuse.html
Media Contact: Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Communications Chief Amanda Conn Starner at 614-644-8456 or email@example.com