SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Prescription and non-prescription drug abuse is a rapidly growing problem across the United States.
The 2016 National Study on Drug Use and Health reported that an estimated 28.6 million Americans age 12 and over used illicit drugs during the month prior to the study. That means nearly 10 percent of all people struggle with some type of substance abuse, including addiction to prescription drugs.
According to Talbot Recovery, the United States makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioid drugs.Talbot recovery also says that 46 people died every day in 2016 from overdoses involving prescription opioid drugs.,
This is even a problem in Sylacauga, and the Sylacauga Police Department is being proactive in taking prescription drugs off the streets.
Saturday, April 28, is National Drug Take Back Day. National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration first launched its Take-Back Day in 2010, and since then has collected more than 9 million pounds of medicine from the public.
The Sylacauga Police Department will be at City Hall from 9 to noon on Saturday collecting any old, unused or out of date Rx drugs.
Police Chief Kelley Johnson said this a chance to not only dispose of unneeded medicine, but to make sure it is disposed of properly.
We want people to bring in their prescription drugs our department to destroy,” he said. “We’ll take possession of the drugs, we’ll record it and then incinerate it.”
The day is in hopes of preventing these drugs from somehow making a way to the streets or, even worse, in the hands of children.
“Most medications are not going to do much harm in the hands of an adult, but all of them do harm in the hands of children,” said Danny Johnson. Johnson is the founder of Marble City Pharmacy which has partnered with SPD for the last six years in order to get prescription drugs disposed of properly.
Johnson said the major drugs his department is hoping to get out of houses are oxycontin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, adderall and fentanyl patches.