Tahoe City participates in national prescription drug take back event
TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; North-Lake Tahoe was one of many communities across the nation to recognize the second annual and#8220;National Prescription Drug Take Back Dayand#8221; Saturday, April 30, 2011.
Local residents safely and anonymously disposed of their prescription medications at the North Tahoe Fire Protection Districtand#8217;s Station 51 in Tahoe City. Placer County Sheriffand#8217;s Office (PCSO) staff reports the initiative netted the agency nearly 33 pounds of prescription drugs during the four hour event. A similar event, held September 2010 in Kings Beach, made it a combined total of 51 pounds taken back in the last eight months.
Data indicates that too often people report they keep expired or unused medications unsecured in their medicine cabinets. Many say they simply put them in the trash or flush them. This can result in contaminated drinking water. On Saturday, PCSO staff was at the fire station to collect relinquished medications that were then turned over to the regional Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA will take them to a special incinerator in Covina, Calif. to dispose of them at no cost to the Tahoe-Truckee Community.
and#8220;This effectively helps to safeguard both the water supply and the well-being of the communityand#8221; said Kristen Mann, Placer County Sheriff community services officer. and#8220;This event is another tool to help reduce the availability of drugs our youth may have access to and use illegally. We strive to keep our community safe and our youth drug-free.and#8221;
Volunteers for the local Tahoe-Truckee Future without Drug Dependence (FWDD) coalition helped with organization and promotion of the event. FWDD volunteers also distributed safety information and surveyed attendees. Participants expressed gratitude to organizers, as there is currently no other place to dispose of controlled prescription drugs in the community. Attendees expressed support for the establishment of a permanent collection site, to assist residents with year-round disposal.
According to FWDD volunteer Dianne Hilly, and#8220;Those surveyed expressed the most support for locating the secure collection bin at a local pharmacy. It would just be easier for most people,and#8221; Hilly said. and#8220;We are grateful for the community participation, and look forward to further events and locations.and#8221;
FWDD, whose mission is to build a healthy community free from drug and alcohol abuse, conducted a community-wide drug and alcohol assessment in 2010 which identified prescription and over-the-counter drugs as the third most commonly abused by local teens, behind alcohol and marijuana. FWDD has secured funding to purchase a secure collection bin for prescription drugs to be located in the Truckee community. Coalition members are currently working with local pharmacists and law enforcement officials to see if a convenient site can be established. For more information on future events or opportunities to support local substance abuse prevention efforts, please contact FWDD at 530-550-2309.
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