Back by popular demand: the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back. Bring your old, unwanted, unused medicines to convenient drop-off locations on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for safe, and anonymous, disposal. Locations include Rite-Aid in La Crescenta and LCF, and CVS in Montrose. Bring your medicines and sharps (needles, lancets, and syringes) to the CV Sheriff’s Station at 4554 Briggs Avenue.
You might not have known that the DEA stopped holding these take-backs, but they did. The rationale behind this decision was that since pharmacies handed out medicines, they should take them back. Laws were changed to accommodate this procedure. Local jurisdictions were taught how to host their own, local take-backs. A webinar taught us how to run one without the DEA, and that’s why we recently hosted a take-back with Glendale PD at Orange Fest. But across America, it didn’t work out as planned. Unlike CV Alliance (pat on back), others didn’t step up to fill the void.
If you read the news you know a heroin epidemic is sweeping our nation. The root of many people’s heroin addiction is prescription drug abuse. According to teens.drugabuse.gov, people who abuse painkillers like OxyContin are 19 times more likely to start using heroin and eight out of 10 people who started using heroin abused painkillers first. Why? Because both are opioids (pain relievers).
Who’s to blame? Fingers are pointed. Doctors over-prescribe; patients over-demand. People use medicines not meant for them, getting them directly or indirectly from friends or family members. Some doctor shop, visiting various offices, clinics, hospitals to get their fix. They buy online. The most desperate turn to illegal acquisition. When the burden’s too great, they try heroin. It’s easier. Use is never recorded. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s readily available, and it’s no longer taboo. Teens and suburban housewives abuse heroin.
The online database of the Attorney General’s Office tracks controlled substances dispensed statewide. An updated version of the Prescription Drug Monitoring System went online on July 1. Restricting over-access to controlled substances in California just got better.
We’re not strangers to heroin. Let’s all help.
Suzy Jacobs, Executive Director,
3516 N. Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208 (818) 646-7867