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CVMC hosts drug take back on Tuesday

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SYLACAUGA, Ala. – National Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, but Coosa Valley Medical Center hosted a drug take back on Tuesday in conjunction with the Aletheia House in Birmingham.

Aletheia House is a community-based organization that has been providing low-cost substance abuse treatment and prevention services to individuals, and the communities in which they live, since 1972. It is one of Alabama’s largest providers of substance abuse treatment, substance abuse/HIV prevention, employment services, health care and affordable housing.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) campaigns for two drug take back days each year. One in April and one in October.

The April 2019 Take Back Day brought in 937,443 pounds (468.72 tons) of unused or expired prescription medication.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 11,816,393 pounds.

These days are paramount in communities across the nation, helping curve the effects of the opioid crisis. According to drugabuse.gov, in 2017, an estimated 18 million people (more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older) have misused such medications at least once in the past year.

“It is important to the community to know how to properly discard their prescription medication,” said Natalie Weech, community wellness coordinator for Aletheia House.

The target for the Aletheia House is the older generation. In particular grandparents who could let prescription drugs end up in the hands of grandchildren.

“Just letting the community know we understand they got them legally, but now there is a market for them. These drugs have street value,” said Dr. Adia Winfrey, prevention specialist Talladega Co., Coosa Co., Clay Co., and Randolph Co. “Just having these events puts this issue on the radar.”

The October Drug Take Back Day happens in conjunction with National Red Ribbon Week ins schools where students across nation learn about the harmful affects of drugs.

“It’s just important to get these drugs off the street,” said Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley Johnson. “The effects of these drugs are just like any other narcotic. They destroy families, cause health problems and ruin lives.”

There will be another prescription drug take back on Saturday from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at Walmart in Sylacauga.


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