prescriptionPrescription drug abuse and addiction problems have rocked our country to its core.  In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that prescription drug abuse and addiction problems are now responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.  Part of the problem with these drug substances is that few individuals recognize them as drug substances, or understand that they can be just as dangerous and addictive as some illicit drug substances.  These medications are FDA-approved and doctor recommended, and many individuals who lack further information regarding their true nature erroneously believe that this means they are perfectly safe to use or even abuse.

The Vital Importance of Rx Take-Back Events

In many cases, drug use begins when an individual encounters something in their life that they feel either unwilling or unable to address and resolve on their own.  When that individual comes across prescription drugs, either in their own home or through a friend or family member, they may decide that these drug substances can be helpful to them in some way.  However, while the abuse of prescription drugs is dangerous even for an individual who has been thoroughly examined by an individual and prescribed these substances, it can be especially dangerous for individuals for whom they were not prescribed.

Many individuals do not know what to do with unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications.  Some may throw them in the garbage, where unfortunately they may be picked up by some other individual. Some may throw them down the drain, where they can actually cause problems in pipes as they break down into their chemical compositions.  Others may choose to hold onto them, “in case they may be useful in the future”, but this can be highly dangerous as well because it leaves these medications within reach for the individual himself and others to abuse.

Prescription take-back events help to raise awareness of the problems of prescription drug abuse and addiction, and provide individuals with a safe way to dispose of their unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications.

Narconon Arrowhead’s Support of Tulsa Rx Take-Back Event

Out of all counties nationwide, Tulsa County currently ranks sixteenth for prescription painkiller deaths.  The Coalition Against Prescription and Substance Abuse of Tulsa, or CAPSAT, works hard to bring many individuals together in Tulsa for the purpose of preventing the abuse of prescription and other drug substances.  This organization works hard the help prevent the misuse of prescription and opioid drugs through programs in education, training, enforcement, research and treatment.  CAPSAT seeks to bring about a change in the problems of prescription drug abuse and addiction by reducing the availability of opioids, as well as the non-medical use of prescription drugs, by developing greater access to prevention resources, treatment referrals and treatment options for those who are suffering from opioid and prescription drug abuse, and by developing accurate data collection systems to capture all opioid and prescription drug abuse information.

On Friday, May 15th, a prescription drug take-back event was held at the Oklahoma Center for Health Sciences.  The event was attended by roughly one hundred treatment and prevention providers in and around the Tulsa area.  Dr. Craig Stevens, Ph.D. of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and Betsy Graham, R.N. of St. John Medical Center, helped to kick-off the event.

Matthew Condley from the Tulsa Health Department discussed CAPSAT’s purposes and goals, and how they seek to combat the problems of opioid and prescription drug abuse through education, research and training programs.  David Hale, the Agent in Charge from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, discussed the drug-use trends they are seeing, as well as the actions being taken to help address and resolve the problem.  He spoke about various awareness programs and take-back events that will be coming up in the Tulsa area.

Narconon Arrowhead director Bobby Newman attended the prescription drug take-back event and pointed out the abuse of prescription benzodiazepines, stimulants and opiates are prevalent in Tulsa County.  He looks forward to having Narconon Arrowhead assist in all efforts to curb and prevent these problems, recognizing that many individuals and groups banding together is what is necessary to bring about the desired change.

Take-back events are normally held twice every year in the spring and summer times.  Hale stated that additionally, prescription take-back drop boxes are available year-round at local police stations and the Sheriff’s Office.  It is his hope that through awareness and education programs, more people will recognize their options in safely discarding unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

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