DEA sponsoring nationwide prescription drug round-up in Robertson County

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The Robertson County Community Coalition and the Drug Enforcement Administration is giving Robertson County citizens another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. coalition members and local law enforcement will be collecting over-the-counter and prescription medications for safe disposal at the First Baptist Church parking lot in Hearne and at the Franklin Supermarket parking lot. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Teen prescription drug abuse is on the rise across the nation—but, according to the 2012 Texas School Survey, our local efforts at reducing teen access to prescription pills are paying off. Since the first prescription pill round-up in April of 2010, students who report past month prescription pill abuse has fallen from over five percent to three percent. Still, seventy percent of teens who do abuse prescription pills report that they get their drugs from friends and family, often right out of the home medicine cabinet. Prescription drug abuse is particularly dangerous among teens because they take pills not knowing what they are, or what their health risks and interactions with other medicines, drugs and alcohol might be. Emergency workers routinely respond to calls involving unconscious patients. Most of the time, prescription pill abuse is to blame. “The overwhelming public response to DEA's first nationwide Take-Back event last fall not only rid homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs, but was an unprecedented opportunity to educate everyone about the growing prescription drug abuse problem," said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. “Studies have shown that, for many, prescription drugs are the very first drugs they abuse—and all too often they aren’t the last. That is why we are committed to helping Americans keep their homes safe by ridding their medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted drugs.” Last September, this event collected 22,690 pills—or 150 pounds—of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The event also collected 2,471 milliliters of liquid medicine. This is more than double the amount collected at the first round-up. In addition to disposing of unused medications, the Robertson County Community Coalition also urges citizens to talk to their teens and keep themselves educated about prescription pill abuse, keep a month-to-month inventory of all home medicines and lock up dangerous prescriptions. The coalition will also be giving away free pill lock boxes to the first fifty people to come by either pill round-up location.

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