Protect Our Children with Drug Take Back Day April 28

Jean Felts is a Fayette County parent and a member of Drug Free Fayette

Jean Felts lost her oldest son, Joseph, to opioids in 2017.

My support of “DEA Take Back Day” is personal. I lost my oldest son in 2017 to opioids. Joseph began using heroin after having been prescribed oxycontin following an automobile accident that resulted in a severely broken leg and chronic pain.
The transition from legal to illegal opioids was culturally biased by Joseph having experimented with other easily accessible drugs at a younger age. Despite my many attempts to intervene, hours of research, countless meetings, and calls to schools, insurers, and facilities, in the end the options were heartbreakingly limited and the addiction too strong.
Government alone will not solve this problem. Only when we face the national crisis as a local tragedy and a threat to all of our children will we take the steps needed to curb the demand and severely reduce the supply of these chemicals that can kill. The solution may begin with your own medicine cabinet.
One of the most effective ways to take unused and expired prescription drugs “out of circulation” is to dispose of them safely at your local law enforcement agency. These prescription drug drop boxes are available year-round, but the DEA helps promote them nationwide awareness two times a year. We even make it easy – at participating law enforcement agencies – so you don’t even have to leave your car. Just come to the station! One of those days is April 28.
Prescription drugs taken outside the scope of a prescription can be harmful, addictive, and even fatal. I’ve learned that 53 percent of prescription drugs that were taken without a prescription were obtained – knowingly or not – from the home of a friend or family member.
Why is the so important? Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety threat, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, overdose death, and abuse. Pharmaceutical drugs are hazardous when taken without a prescription or without a doctor’s supervision.
In 2016, more than 63,000 people died in the United States from a drug overdose overdose; 1,426 of those were Georgians. Even Fayette County averages 10 overdose deaths per year, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Most of those individuals died as a result of prescription drug misuse and abuse.
The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends —and the home medicine cabinet.
Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.
On Saturday April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Free Fayette Coalition encourages residents of Fayette County to participate in the National Prescription Take Back Day and dispose of unused prescription medications at authorized locations. Residents can drop off their unused prescription medications at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 155 Johnson St. in Fayetteville.
In the event you are unable to participate on Saturday, residents can also drop off unused prescription drug medication during the normal work week at:
• Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, 155 Johnson St., Fayetteville
• Peachtree City Police Department, 350 Highway 74, Peachtree City
• Fayetteville Police Department, 760 Jimmie Mayfield Blvd., Fayettevill
Additional drop box locations within Georgia can be identified by visiting the Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative website at www.stopdrugabuseinga.org.
Drug Free Fayette is substance abuse prevention program dedicated to supporting and advocating for policies and strategies to defeat the greatest threat to our children and to our society, the epidemic of substance use disorder and overdose. DFF is a program of AVPRIDE and Fayette FACTOR, two Fayette County-based nonprofit organizations.
For more information on prescription drug abuse, go to: www.drugfreefayette.org, www.DEA.gov, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, and www.JustThinkTwice.com.

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