Cracking down on prescription drug abuseAs a pharmacist and the Vice Chairman of the Public Health Committee, I have had first-hand experience in seeing the devastating impacts of misusing and abusing prescription drugs. There is a common misconception that because these drugs are prescribed by a doctor and administered by a professional that they are not harmful, however, that is not the case.
The misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is not confined to any particular demographic and the negative effects are evident across the state. The General Assembly, in addition to other state officials, recognize this epidemic and are making strides to get people the help they need and create ways to prevent this epidemic from growing further.
In response, Attorney General Greg Zoeller launched BitterPill.in.gov last week. This website answers frequently asked questions, provides stories of real Hoosiers who were impacted by prescription drug abuse and various ways to raise awareness for prescription drug abuse.
If you, or someone you know, are battling with prescription drug abuse, this website provides options and resources for various recovery treatments. To find a facility near you, call 1-800-662-HELP or log onto http://www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/index.htm or http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/TreatmentLocator/faces/addressSearch.jspx?state=IN/. This process can seem daunting to some, so if you need help in navigating the addition delivery system, please feel free to call the Indiana Mental Health and Addiction Ombudsman at 1-800-555-MHAI.
For many, this addiction starts with having leftover prescription medications in our family medicine cabinet. By ensuring that your medicine cabinet is cleared out of any old or unnecessary prescription medication can safeguard your family, neighbors and community against accidental poisoning, illegal use or theft of these medicines or the contamination of water resources.
It is critical that we dispose of these medications properly. This means that we have to make a valiant effort not to keep medications past their expiration date or intended period of use, throw medicines away in the trash, flush medications or pour them down the sink and lastly, give or sell your medication to others.
Indiana is making strides towards a program that will allow pharmacies to take medications back. For now, though, take your medications to community events like Take Back Days, Shred Days or Household Hazardous Waste Days.
Counties also have take back sites where residents can drop off their old prescription medicine to safe locations such as:
Jackson County Sherriff’s Department at 150 E. State Road 250 in Browstown
Bevers Family Pharmacy at 105 W. 2nd St. in Seymour
Family Drug at 810 W. Commerce St in Brownston.
County Sherriff’s Department at 205 E. Main St. in Paoli
County Sherriff’s Department at 1445 Gardner Lane in Corydon
Milltown Police Department located at 212 Hancock St. in Milltown.
Clark and Washington Counties do not currently have take back sites. The Indiana Board of Pharmacy recommends that if you cannot get unused drugs to a take-back site, then crush the tablets, or open the capsules, and mix into used coffee grounds or cat litter, rendering them unusable, and send them out in the trash pickup.
It is critical that we address the misuse and abuse of prescription medications head on. I look forward to keeping you posted in the strides Indiana continues to make in regards to the issue. For more information on counties’ take back sites, please visit http://www.in.gov/bitterpill/docs/safe_storage.pdf.