The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 20, 2013

Prescription drug abuse a concern for state, nation

ENID, Okla. — A growing problem in the state — and elsewhere in the country — is the abuse of prescription drugs.

A large part of the problem is people taking drugs prescribed to someone else. Often, easy access to other people’s medication is a big contributing factor to abuse. People don’t use all of their prescription, then don’t know what to do with the pills.

Garfield County Drug and Alcohol Coalition is increasing its efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, and one of its priorities is ensuring safe disposal of unused medications.

One way not to dispose of unused pills is by flushing them down the toilet. When people do that, the medication has a chance of getting into the water supply.

Disposal methods will be discussed during a meeting GCDAC will hold 5:30 p.m. March 28 at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid, Room 114.

Locally, there are two permanent drop-off boxes that were donated by Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The boxes are located in the lobbies of Enid Police Department, 301 W. Garriott, and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, 114 W. Broadway. OBNDD empties the boxes regularly.

This year, Drug Enforcement Agency will have a Drug Take-Back Day at the 38th annual Enid Homes Show. A table will be set up 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at an entrance to the show.

For people who can’t make it to the take-back event or the local drop boxes, prescription medications still can be disposed of.

They should be taken from their original containers, mixed with an undesirable material, such as cat litter or coffee grounds, and the mixture put into a disposable container with a lid, such as a butter tub, or a sealed bag.

Personal information, including prescription numbers, should be removed from prescription containers. The mixtures and containers then can be placed in the trash.

Properly disposing of unused prescription drugs is one way to battle the problem of abuse.

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