Flagler Beach Police Department Now Permanent Site To Get Rid of Unwanted Prescription Drugs
FlaglerLive | February 27, 2017
You don’t have to wait for drug take-back days to drop off your unwanted prescription drugs anymore. Starting at 8 this morning (Feb. 27), the Flagler Beach Police Department has become a permanent drop-off point during regular business hours.
The department’s new Drug Collection Unit will provide residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances. The Drug Collection Unit is in the front lobby of the Police Department at 204 South Flagler Avenue, and is accessible Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drugs may be dropped off, no questions asked.
Use of the Drug Collection Unit will reduce the amount of unneeded or unwanted medicine in residents’ homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers. While smoking and drinking rates have fallen to new lows for teenagers, with fewer than 10 percent of those ages 12 to 17 reporting using alcohol in 2017 (down from 17.6 percent in 2002), the proportion of those using and misusing prescription drugs has soared. More than 70 percent of teenagers say it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets, according to a 2014 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids study.
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s annual survey found that “about 119 million Americans 12 and older, or about 44 percent of that population, used prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year. Of those, the vast majority — about 98 million — used pain relievers,” according to the New York Times. “In all, about 19 million people age 12 and older, or about 7 percent of that population, misused prescription drugs in the past year, including about 12.5 million people who misused pain relievers.”
The Centers for Disease Control put it more bluntly: “The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drug overdose epidemic. Drug overdose death rates have increased five-fold since 1980. By 2009, drug overdose deaths outnumbered deaths due to motor vehicle crashes for the first time in the U.S.”
In sum, more people die of prescription drug abuse or misuse than by all illegal drugs combined, including heroin. (Marijuana, in comparison, has no recorded deaths.)
Flagler Beach’s Drug Collection Unit will also help reduce contamination by keeping unused medication out of local landfills and water supplies.
“The safe collection and disposal of unused medications is vital to protecting our children, our community and our environment,” according to Police Chief Matt Doughney.
The police department secured the unit through a non-monetary grant Doughney’s administrative assistant found online, and for which Officer Maria Guerrero applied. The grant is part of the Medicine Abuse Project which, in association with CVS Pharmacy, is installing 1,000 such units across the country as part of a five-year initiative of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids program. Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom lent his voice to the effort in a November letter to CVS headquarters.
The donation is the largest retail pharmacy effort of its kind to date and supports the abuse project’s goal to prevent a half million teenagers from abusing prescription medication by the year 2017.
“The City of Flagler Beach is extremely proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy, and as a city we’d like to thank formally for their commitment to our residents,” Newsom said.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids supports families impacted by addiction with education campaigns that drive awareness of teen substance abuse, and lead teen-targeted efforts that inspire young people to make positive decisions to stay healthy and avoid drugs and alcohol. For questions regarding the new Drug Collection Unit, feel free to contact Chief Doughney at (386) 517-2020. For information on the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, call the toll free phone number 1-866-559-8830 or visit www.cvs.com/safercommunities.