Prescription drug disposal box available in Grand County | SkyHiNews.com

Prescription drug disposal box available in Grand County

Staff Report

Colorado is addressing the growing problem of the abuse of prescription medicine with a new public awareness campaign, "Take Meds Seriously."

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the education effort in a news conference at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The campaign is aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse and misuse in the state.

Statistics and recent surveys reveal how pervasive prescription drug misuse and abuse is in Colorado. Thirty-five Coloradans died each month in 2013 from unintentional drug overdoses. Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription drugs each year. At least a third of Coloradans surveyed admitted using medicine prescribed for someone else. One in six of Colorado's 12th graders have taken prescription medicine that was not written for them.

Here in Grand County, one-fifth of high school students have taken a prescription medication that was not written for them (Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2012-2013). And Coloradans admit at least half their households have drugs that are unused or out of date.

"Take Meds Seriously" features a new website, TakeMedsSeriously.org, along with statewide advertising and public outreach efforts.

A 2014 survey conducted for the Consortium by National Research Center Inc., found four in 10 Colorado adults say they've misused prescription medicine, mostly painkillers, and a third of those adults used the medicine for recreational purposes. Few Coloradans lock and store their medicine in places children can't access it, and only one in 10 had returned expired medicine to a police or sheriff's department.

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Grand County Sheriff's Department, in partnership with Grand County Public Health, is now offering a prescription medication disposal box for Grand County residents. The box is located in the foyer of the Sheriff's office in Hot Sulphur Springs. Drop any unused or unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medications any time, day or night, no questions asked.

Grand County agencies are working to decrease the number of prescription drug abuse cases in our community. Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, a local Grand County nonprofit dedicated to preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy lifestyles, offers parent, community, and classroom presentations to youth about the dangers of prescription drugs. While prescription drugs can be harmful, did you know that four out of five heroin users began first with recreational use of prescription pain relievers (The Medicine Abuse Project – Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)? With over 20 percent of our high school students in Grand County using prescriptions not prescribed to them, we need to start the conversation about prescription drug abuse. To schedule a presentation for your parent group, community organization, or classroom contact Megan McCord, Grand County Program Director, at megan@grandfutures.org or call 970-887-9655 or 970-879-6188.

Visit GrandFutures.org for more information.

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