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How to Reduce Drug Overdoses in Your Community

addiction overdose rx drugs Oct 18, 2022

What can you do to help reduce drug overdoses in your community?

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is coming up on Saturday, October 29th, 2022. Rx Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Locally, Ventura County is actively engaged and committed to preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse. One of the ways the County works to address the issue locally is by reducing access, especially to teens. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO), in collaboration with Ventura County Behavioral Health (VCBH), established a countywide Rx disposal program that allows residents to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired Rx medication via secure, confidential disposal bins. Over the last several years, this has expanded to other jurisdictions and retail pharmacies.

  • Recent data continue to support the need for ongoing and expanded availability of Rx drug disposal programs.

  • 1 in 5 Ventura County teens have abused prescription drugs.

  • Over 50% get them for free from friends and family.

  • 73% of Ventura County residents surveyed indicated that prescription drugs, for uses not as prescribed, are “fairly easy” or “very easy” for teenagers to obtain.

Rx Drug Take Back Day provides an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. It encourages people to dispose of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Since 2009, over 19 tons of Rx drugs have been collected and destroyed by the Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup partners in the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Nearly 1 in 5 Ventura County residents have dropped off unused or expired Rx drugs at a County disposal bin.

What You Can Do

  • Clean out your medicine cabinet and commit to safely disposing of your expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs

  • Get the facts on Rx & OTC drug abuse

  • Dispel the myth that Rx drugs are safe to abuse

  • Know the signs and symptoms of drug use

  • Monitor and secure all medications

For safe and confidential medication disposal locations in Ventura County, visit Ventura County Responds.