I am pleased to announce that on April 27th, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide another opportunity for the public to help their communities prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. To participate, please bring your medications for disposal to one of the more than 5,000 collection sites listed on the National Take-Back Initiative page on the DEA website, www.dea.gov. The service is free and anonymous—no questions asked.
On April 14, I had the distinct honor of testifying on prescription drug abuse before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade as part of a diverse panel of experts that included national non-profits, federal regulators, state governors, family members of victims of prescription drug abuse, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals, and other stakeholders. The hearing was called by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), who chairs the subcommittee, and Ranking Member Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
Headline after headline indicate a rise in prescription (Rx) drug abuse among teens – second only to marijuana. In fact, today prescription drugs are abused more than cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamine combined. In response to this epidemic, CADCA designed the Rx Abuse Prevention Toolkit: From Awareness to Action. This unique toolkit provides the facts, approaches, strategies and messages that coalitions can use to move communities beyond that first stage of awareness into action.
“They don’t start with a needle in the arm, but they start somewhere.” Those are the haunting but truthful words of Julie Brenner, executive director of the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities (ACHC), an umbrella organization of soon-to-be 16 coalitions spanning across Oakland County, Michigan. The community is experiencing a heroin and prescription drug epidemic.