Every April communities across the country participate in National Take Back Day activities and this year our GEN Rx providers were added to the mix. National Take Back Day is when people all over the country drop off their unused prescription medications at a designated location in their community, and they do so with no questions asked. It’s sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in partnership with local sheriff’s departments.
This year our GEN Rx providers in Early and Catoosa counties collaborated with local law enforcement to host activities in their communities and the results were astounding. In Catoosa County the Sheriff reports accepting more than $30,000 worth of Oxycontin alone, which was submitted from a single household. Since the beginning of the year they have accepted more than 80 pounds of unused drugs – the most they’ve accepted in the history of doing this program. Catoosa Prevention Initiative is our GEN Rx provider in that county and their awareness efforts about prescription drug abuse and the National Take Back Day has definitely made an impact.
Early Choices, our GEN Rx provider in Early County saw their share of success as well. They partnered with local law enforcement and Harvey’s Supermarket to set up the National Take Back Day efforts in Blakely, GA. They accepted 26 pounds of prescription drugs from the community.
Guess what? These efforts don’t have to end. Even though National Take Back Day happens once a year across the country, it’s happening every day in 144 counties in Georgia. Thanks to the Dropbox Campaign that is spear headed by The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, law enforcement agencies across the state have been supplied with FREE drop boxes. These boxes are located in the sheriff’s office and can be accessed 24 hours a day with NO QUESTIONS ASKED. All you have to do is remove your unused and expired medications from your medicine cabinet and take them to the nearest drop box. You can find out more information about the exact locations of these boxes by clicking on this link: http://www.stoprxabuseinga.org/prescription-drug-disposal.html.
GEN Rx exists because there is a growing problem of prescription drug abuse among youth and young adults 12-25 years old. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 teens report abusing medications that were not prescribed to them. If we can get these drugs out of their hands, and remove the ease of access they have to them, we can make a tremendous impact in eradicating this epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Remember, “Rx Drug Abuse: It’s NOT what the doctor ordered.”