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La Vernia Connections: Waste collection prevents drug abuse, say police
Wilson County residents drop off items during the household hazardous waste collection event Dec. 1 at the La Vernia High School.
On Dec. 1, the La Vernia Police Department participated in the household hazardous waste collection event at the La Vernia High School. The event was sponsored by the San Antonio River Authority, Wilson County, and the Alamo Area Council of Governments. More than 200 vehicles were lined up waiting to rid themselves of used oil, chemicals, tires, old electronic equipment, and old medications.
The La Vernia Police collected four large boxes of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications, which weighed in excess of 125 pounds. Police Chief Bruce Ritchey commended the citizens of La Vernia and Wilson County for turning in their outdated drugs and helping to prevent crime.
Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest-growing drug problems in the nation. According to the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse is classified as an epidemic.
Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that “nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over, who used drugs for the first time in 2009, began by using a prescription drug non-medically.” Data also shows that teens become abusers of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and think that prescription drugs are safer to use because they are prescribed by a doctor. What they don’t realize is that the type of drug prescribed and the dosage is based on several things like weight, symptoms, etc.
To reduce prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, the ONDCP’s 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan expands upon the Obama administration’s National Drug Control Strategy with an emphasis on education and proper medication disposal
La Vernia Police Department’s Crime Prevention Specialist, Officer Charles Patty, recommends that you keep your medications in a place that is not accessible by visitors to your home, like in your medicine cabinet. Many people “sneak a peek” at what is in your medicine cabinet, and a few of them may also “sneak” a pill or two -- thinking you may not miss it. If you have pills left over from a prescription -- dispose of them properly. Sharing your prescription medication, no matter how innocent the reason, is not a good idea -- and it’s also against the law under section 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
You can find other tips at www.theantidrug.com or the National Crime Prevention Coalition at www.ncpc.org.
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