Drug take back day is important to combat abuse

Drug take back day is important to combat

THE ISSUE: Opioid, heroin and prescription drug abuse is on the rise throughout Illinois and Macoupin County.

OUR VIEW:  Residents should take the opportunity on April 28 to dispose of medicines not currently being used.

CARLINVILLE (April 19, 2018) – It’s a story often told by parents who had no idea their children were abusing drugs. Police often tell the parents that their kids initially got introduced to drugs courtesy of their own medicine cabinets. Such medicine cabinets are often fully stocked with prescription drugs, sometimes not currently in use, thus giving the parent no clue that the kids are getting high and hooked on these drugs. Studies have shown that this prescription drug addiction leads to increased heroin and opioid abuse.

In an effort to help residents be aware of these issues, a drug takeback event will be held locally in both Macoupin and Montgomery counties as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day being observed throughout the country on Saturday, April 28. Locally, the event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Michelle’s Pharmacy in Bunker Hill, Carlinville, and Gillespie; Sav-Mor Pharmacy in Virden; and Sullivan’s Drugstore in Carlinville, Gillespie, Mount Olive, and Staunton. In Montgomery County the drop-off locations include Sav-Mor Pharmacy in Nokomis and Sullivan’s Drugstores in Litchfield, Hillsboro and Raymond.

Thanks to event organizer Senator Andy Manar and with the help of Michelle’s Pharmacy, Sullivan’s Drugstore and Sav-Mor Pharmacy, and co-sponsors Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vazzi, Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson, Montgomery County State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings, Macoupin County Public Health Department, Macoupin County Anti-Meth Coalition, HSHS St. Francis Hospital, and the Reality Coalition of Montgomery County, this event provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of having prescription drugs and provide an opportunity to clean your house of those drugs not currently being used.

This event is particularly timely in Illinois as recent news from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates three people have died from synthetic drug abuse, which has made its way to central Illinois. IDPH director Nirav D. Shah, stated, “Each day we’ve seen the number of cases rise. Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe. They are not regulated and people don’t know what chemicals may be in them, like rat poison.” These synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed onto dried plant material.

Opioid overdoses are responsible for 11,000 deaths in Illinois since 2008. Heroin and prescription drug abuse are on the rise in Illinois as well. Rural communities are not immune to this problem. Area hospitals as well as law enforcement have treated individuals suffering from drug abuse. The drug takeback event is free and available to the public. Area residents are welcome to drop off unwanted medications and the participating drop off sites will even accept unwanted prescription pet medications for the first time this year.

State Senator Andy Manar explained that he is coordinating the event since, “Unfortunately the forgotten contents of household medicine cabinets often help to fuel opioid and prescription drug addiction. I urge everyone to take advantage of our drug take back event April 28 and clear their homes of old, unused and unwanted prescriptions and medications. Doing so is one way to help local authorities battle the opioid epidemic right here at home.”

We commend Manar, the drop off site locations, and all those assisting in organizing this important event for doing what they can to encourage residents to bring in their items. Now it is up to residents to do their part to work cooperatively with them.