On Friday, March 13, two board members from the Porter County Substance Abuse Council and the Council’s Director brought 800 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medicine to Covanta, a waste disposal company in Indianapolis, for disposal. In Porter County each year over 3,000 pounds of medicines are collected at the five drop-off locations and at the take-back events. These medicines are then disposed of safely, securely and without harm to the environment.
More importantly, by collecting these drugs the community is removing them from the medicine cabinets, closets, bathroom drawers and other locations in our homes. This removes the temptation for children and helps prevent substance abuse. One of the PCSAC’s newest programs has speakers available to talk to a wide variety of groups about the dangers of unattended, unaccounted, and available medicines in the home.
Each day, in the United States, over 120 people die from prescription medication overdose. Measures taken that can help reduce this number are measures worth taking. A National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) survey, Monitoring the Future reported that 1 in 12 seniors in high school self-reported that they had used Vicodin in a non-medical fashion in the last year and 1 in 20 had abused OxyContin similarly. Here in Porter County the numbers have declined but in 2013 almost 8% of seniors had abused prescription medications in the 30 days prior to the self-report. Still, 10% of Porter County high school seniors reported lifetime use of over the counter drugs.
Prescription medication drop-off boxes can be found in the following locations in Porter County: Chesterton Police Department, Hebron Police Department, Portage Police Department, Porter Police Department and Valparaiso Police Department.
If you would like additional information about the Porter County Substance Abuse Council and its work in the community, please contact Beatrice Owen at 219-462-0946. For more information about the Substance Abuse Council, visit their website, www.portercountysac.org.