Kristin Gaspar on National Prescription Drug take back day
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Prescription drug take-back day is October 27th. At tomorrow’s Supervisor’s Board meeting Chairwoman Gaspar will be presenting a Board letter that will propose a partnership with County Health and Human Services, the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, Sheriff Gore, DA Stephan, The Safe Homes Coalition and the SD Association of Realtors.
Their mission will be to educate families about the safe use, safe storage and proper disposal of prescription medications. In the last few years there has been a growing trend of theft of prescription medications during open houses so the focus will be on educating homeowners on the importance of locking up medications when other people are in your home. In the next few months, County staff will update the County’s Prescription Drug Abuse Plan and present it in March 2019.
In March, 200 real estate professionals, community leaders, family members affected by overdose and addiction, and other dedicated volunteers have committed to knock on 50 doors each to directly touch 10,000 members of our community. This program breaks new ground by conducting the first ever countywide “precinct” walk to bring education directly to families and the community.
Upon request, community members will be provided with a DEA-compliant, anonymous, pre-addressed postage-paid envelope that allows them to conveniently and easily dispose of medications otherwise sitting in their medicine cabinets. These medications will be received by a DEA-compliant disposal facility, where they will be weighed and then incinerated, eliminating these medications from the waste stream and providing metrics that allow us to measure the effectiveness of this campaign.
According to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy the latest estimates show that in 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, most involving opioids like prescription pain medications, heroin and illicitly made fentanyl. These deaths outnumbered deaths caused by motor-vehicle crashes and they outnumbered deaths caused by suicide. For the second year in a row, overdose deaths were higher than the total number of American service members killed in the Vietnam War.