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Sheriff’s Office ‘Prescription Buyback’ on April 28th

The Lassen County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has seen an increase in the abuse of prescription drugs in recent years, leading to around 10 deaths each year for the past three years due to multiple drug intoxication.

Along with these prescription drug related deaths the Sheriff has also received increased reports of illegal prescription drug sales, and observed an increase in prescription drug abuse by our youth.
The Sheriff’s Office is addressing this growing problem through enforcement, community education and prevention.

For the past two years the Sheriff’s Office has been running the prescription drug “Take Back” program in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration. On April 28th from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. the public will have another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

You can bring your medications for disposal to Walgreens Pharmacy in Susanville, the Westwood Community Center in Westwood, the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Bieber and The Mark in Herlong. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds, 188.5 tons, of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners.

In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds, nearly 500 tons, of pills. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.

The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months.

Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

If you have any questions about this program please call the Sheriff’s Office at (530) 251-8013

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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