Changing perceptions Police want prescribed drugs off the street

By on April 20, 2011

In partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) the East Cocalico Township Police Department will participate in the nationwide prescription drug Take-Back initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and promote the proper disposal of medications. On April 30, police will be collecting potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Gehman Feed Mill in Denver. The service is free and anonymous. Prescription and over-the-counter dosage medications will be accepted. The initiative addresses a vital public safety and environmental health issue. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away both potential safety and environmental hazards. There’s a misconception that just because something is prescribed it s not dangerous, but it can be, East Cocalico Township Sgt. Raymond Burns said. What people don’t realize is that many people, especially kids, will use whatever they can to get high. If the option is there, they ll find a way.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Burns said some of the most prevalent prescription drugs on the street are pain killers such as vicodin, percoset and oxycodone. The Cocalico area, he said, is not immune to the trend.

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