Organizations Team Up To Combat Prescription Drug Abuse - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Organizations Team Up To Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -- Doctors say prescription drug abuse is on the rise across the country. Every year, the most prescriptions are written during cold and flu season.

To try to combat misuse, organizations across the country came together Saturday for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

A simple doctor's note gives you access to Oxycontin, Vicodin, Adderall and many more commonly used and abused medications.

"It's subtle and it's tough to see, but you can also understand how people get there because it starts off as just a prescription," said Jessie Maynard, a therapist at St. Vincent Catholic Charities.

Abuse rates across the country are alarmingly high. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says nearly 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, which is nearly twice as many as those who use cocaine, heroin, inhalants and hallucinogens combined.

"Our prescription folks were kind of a rarity. Now, I would say it's at least 50/50, and the prescription folks are probably starting to slide to the majority," Maynard said.

Those soaring rates led the DEA to partner with police departments across the country for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Twice a year, departments, like the Michigan State Police Lansing Post, take expired, unwanted and unused prescription drugs, no questions asked.

"It's a way for people to bring in their prescription drugs and get rid of them, as opposed to having these drugs sit around the house where there's a possibility for misuse or abuse, or someone using them that's not prescribed," said Sgt. Kevin Beasley of the Michigan State Police Lansing Post.

Over the past few years, Michigan State Police has safely disposed of thousands of pounds of prescription drugs. In the first two hours Saturday, they already had over 20 pounds of prescription medications at the Lansing Post.

Last year's national event alone collected 244 tons of prescription medications. Add that to the previous take-back events, and the DEA has collected over 1,000 tons of medication in the hopes of combating a potentially dangerous, illegal and deadly addiction.

 

Jackson City Police, 216 E. Washington, holds a permanent drop box for prescription medication.

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