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There is something you can do about drugs

There are so many things that require our attention. We often think that there is nothing we can do that will change anything, make any kind of difference. That may be so in some instances. But there are some things that we can do to make our little corners of the world better, safer.

According to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) website, the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health determined that 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives that year. Most were obtained through family or friends, often from the medicine cabinet.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) advises that opioids, CNS depressants and stimulants are serious public health problems in the United States. They are easier to get hold of. Some people think that prescription drugs are less harmful than illegal drugs.

“Although misuse of prescription drugs affects many Americans, certain populations such as youth and older adults may be at particular risk,” NIDA says.

Prescription drug misuse is highest among young adults ages 18 to 25. After alcohol, marijuana and tobacco, nonmedical use of prescription drugs are the most common to be used by youth.

Many older adults take at least one prescription drug daily, and other supplements, creating the potential for misuse.

“The high rates of multiple (comorbid) chronic illnesses in older populations, age-related changes in drug metabolism, and the potential for drug interactions make medication (and other substance) misuse more dangerous in older people than in younger populations, NIDA reports. “Further, a large percentage of older adults also use over-the-counter medicines and dietary and herbal supplements, which could compound any adverse health consequences resulting from nonmedical use of prescription drugs.”

The DEA’s Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Prescription drugs that we didn’t finish taking or that have expired can lead to misuse, overdose, poisoning, advises the DEA.

“Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.” Yes, they are harmful to the environment. Never flush them down the drain.

Drug Take Back Day is currently observed in the spring and in the fall. In October, during the 19th National Take Back Day, some 4,153 law enforcement agencies participated.

There were 4,587 collection sites and the total weight collected was 985,392 pounds (or 492.7 tons.)

The next Drug Take Back Day is 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., April 24. In Columbiana County collection sites are at Salem Municipal Building (Police Department), 231 S. Broadway Ave., Salem, and East Liverpool City Hospital, 525 W. 5th St., East Liverpool.

But if you can’t make it to one of the sites on April 24, there are drop boxes for year-round collection of expired or unused prescription drugs you want to dispose of properly. In addition to the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office, County Home Road, Lisbon, drop boxes are placed with police departments in Columbiana, East Liverpool, East Palestine, Leetonia, Lisbon, Salem and St. Clair Township.

Family Recovery Center helps families to find ways to navigate through these challenging times. For more information about the agency’s treatment and education programs, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468, or email, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

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