Posts Tagged ‘prescription drug abuse’

The Monroe County Department of Environmental Services and Wegmans are teaming up to help community members safely dispose of excess prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The first collection will take place this Saturday, April 24th, from 8 am to 1 pm at the Wegmans Irondequoit at 525 Titus Ave.

Last year, this partnership resulted in over 1,000 residents safely disposing of almost 3,000 pounds of pharmaceutical waste. Appointments aren’t needed.

The remaining three collections this year will be:

  • June 19th, Eastway Wegmans at 1955 Empire Blvd
  • August 14th, Chili-Paul Wegmans at 3175 Paul Rd and
  • October 2nd, Penfield Wegmans at 2157 Penfield Rd

The county is holding a separate collection this Sunday, April 25th, from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Jewish Community Federation at 441 East Ave. Read the press release here for more information.

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Do you have a question about prescription or over-the-counter drug abuse? Wondering why these medications are dangerous when misused, what populations are most likely to misuse them, or how to treat this type of problem? Submit a question to Recovery Month’s Ask the Expert – H. Westley Clark, the Director at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He’ll be answering them in the next Road to Recovery program. Click here to submit your questions, and select Road to Recovery as the question type.

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Two individuals associated with the Rochester Raiders indoor football team were arrested this week in connection to a 6-month long drug investigation, including the team’s medical director and a linebacker. At least one other individual was arrested in the initial bust that spanned five local counties and involved some degree of undercover police work.

The team’s owner pointed out to the D&C that this investigation was not focused on the team and it is unfortunate that two of their associates were involved in this scandal. He also said that he had not heard about the investigation until yesterday right around the time the arrests were made.

In the end, over 170 prescription pads, five doctor’s DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) ID numbers, and several thousand dollars were seized. At a press conference this morning, they said that as many as a dozen more arrests are expected as the investigation continues–including at least one other Raiders player. Check out the following news stories to learn more:

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Rochester Homepage

The Livingston County News

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In the time I’ve spent looking at alcohol and substance abuse related news stories, prescription drug abuse has been particularly interesting to me. This growing trend is worrisome; even though numerous reports have been saying its a big issue for at least a year now, no one seems to be able to come up with a solution.

How do we teach kids that not all things found in a medicine cabinet are inherently safe? How do we help individuals that have an injury and get hooked on their pain killers recover? And how do we stop the growing group of people looking to exploit these other two groups?

The greater Virginia/Washington, D.C. area seems to have a fairly significant prescription drug abuse problem in many of  their communities. An article in The Washington Post outlines the steps being taken to combat this issue. Operation Cotton Candy is the investigation run through a collaboration of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, as well as various other agencies. (more…)

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Did you know that some parts of the United States have alarmingly high levels of hormones in their water? Scientists think that this is because of the large number of people with good intentions who flush old prescriptions in an effort to make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Throwing prescriptions out in the garbage can also be unsafe if children, elderly family members, pets, or others get into it. Even if the trash isn’t tampered with, it can lead to contamination in a landfill. Unfortunately, until recently there hasn’t been a good alternative to dispose of the enormous quantities of prescriptions sitting in the medicine cabinets of people throughout the country.

Last year, Monroe County officials started a Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal program (find out more here). This is a free initiative that allows local residents to dispose of “Prescription and over-the-counter medications, ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, vials and pet medications.”

An article from the local newspaper in Ithaca, NY said that “The first collection day in Monroe County… gathered more than 42,000 pills. Monroe County has gone on to hold five more collection days, resulting in 128 pound of hazardous substances, nearly 4,000 pounds of non-hazardous substances and 314 pounds of controlled substances.”

Drop off dates can be found at this site–the next one is coming up on Tuesday the 23rd. The website also says you can call (585) 753-7600, Option 3 for more information. I’m going to look into similar programs in the immediate Livingston County area and will update you all on what I find.

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In a story that came out yesterday, a teacher at an elementary school in Florida apparently provided her students with mints in prescription pill bottles during standardized testing. The bottles read “Watson’s Whiz Kid Pharmacy. Take 1 tablet by mouth EVERY 5 MINUTES to cure FCAT jitters.” and at the bottom said “Ms. (Deborah) Falcon’s authorization required.” The grandmother who raised complaints about this situation said that she was told the teacher wanted to do ‘something special for the kids’ to help ‘mellow them out’. (more…)

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A huge number of celebrities have died from drug abuse, and with prescription drug abuse on the rise we will inevitably see an increase in the number of stars who died too soon.

Artist Jason Mecier makes portraits of celebrities out of a variety of ‘junk’ items, and recently he has revealed portraits of Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger, as well as Courtney Love and Kelly Osbourne–two admitted drug users who have struggled with the disease and managed to escape death so far.

Check out his portraits here. Hopefully more stars will start making better choices with their powerful ability to serve as role models for youth.

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SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) just released a report called “Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults” that is stirring up some interesting conversations. A CBS news report that highlights data from the report has a slew of scathing comments from individuals that criticize SAMHSA for a glaring omission: frequency of use.


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I was spending some time on a website called Painfully Obvious yesterday and came across these sound clips they have on their media page.

Radio Spot #1

Radio Spot #2

Radio Spot #3

The website is meant to educate youth about the harmful effects of prescription drug abuse. I’ve got to wonder if they’ve actually played these on the radio… I think they’d be pretty effective!

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