At one point or another, we’ve all used prescription drugs or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to alleviate an illness – whether it’s to relieve pain or curb a cough.
Unfortunately, too many young people and adults are abusing these drugs for a quick high. In response to our country’s medicine abuse epidemic, the North Oakland Community Coalition (NOCC) has teamed with Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard to remind the community that there is a prescription drug disposal box located at the substation.
There will be a special drop off event on Saturday October 13 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for you to properly dispose of unused prescription drugs that you or your elderly family members may have. Please do not flush your OTC or unused prescriptions down the toilet instead come to the Orion Township Offices Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Substation at 2525 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion across from Canterbury Village.
Nationally, prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana, with one in five young adults reporting that they have abused a prescription drug.
In addition, the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey found that 5 percent of teens have abused over-the-counter cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year.
When abused in extreme excess—sometimes as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended dose—dextromethorphan can produce dangerous side effects, especially when combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs.
“The North Oakland Community Coalition has been working tirelessly to reduce, and prevent medicine abuse by teens and adults since 2007 through education and community engagement. We support their efforts”, said Lt. Daniel Toth, Orion Substation Commander in a recent press release, “And encourage all community members to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Locally, the statistics are alarming: In 2012, nearly 9% of 11th graders took a prescription drug such as Ritalin, Adderall, or Xanax WITHOUT a doctors prescription. More 7th graders admitted to taking painkillers such as OxyCotin or Tylenol 3 without a doctors prescription than 11th graders that same year.
“By supporting local law enforcement efforts and continuing the discussion of and properly disposing of unused prescriptions and OTC drugs, we hope we can prevent further tragedies involving these substances, “ said Julie Brenner, Executive Director, North Oakland Community Coalition in a recent press release. “We truly appreciate the support of Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and the Orion Township for this event.”
The event is part of National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, observed annually in October. The North Oakland Community Coalition is one of hundreds across the country holding similar events. The national campaign, sponsored by Community Anti- Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), aims to educate parents and youth of the potential dangers associated with prescription and OTC medicine abuse.
Coalition personnel and volunteers will be on hand Saturday Oct. 13 from 10:00am to 2:00pm with information and giveaways for all family members.
The North Oakland Community Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a sense of belonging in a healthy environment free of alcohol abuse and substance abuse by uniting community members and developing community strengths for all.
Visit www.noccmi.org or contact Julie Brenner, Executive Director of the Coalition at (248) 520-3786 for more information.