‘Take Back Day’ to crack down on prescription drug abuse

WTHI Photo / Lindsey Yates
WTHI Photo / Lindsey Yates

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A drug epidemic is now exploding in teens and pre-teens. Prescription and over the counter medications are becoming the high of choice.

On Saturday, law enforcement agencies across the Wabash Valley hosted a Drug Take Back Day, to crack down on the growing problem.

“If you’re a burglary victim or a theft victim and people know you are on these types of prescriptions, and you have people that are addicted to these products, they are going to break into your house if they know you have these items,” said Captain John Moat, with the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department.

It’s not just those on the outside looking to get in, your medicine cabinet could be part of the growing teen prescription drug addiction.

“Parents have to stay up on what their teens are doing whether it is through social media, or whether it be the substance of choice that kids are trying to abuse. We’ve seen it run through the bath salts. We’ve seen all kinds of products being abused,” said Moats.

More than 20,000 people die from prescription drug overdose each year.

“Narcotics available in home medication cabinets are actually more accessible to teens than other substances such as cocaine and meth,” said Sarah Cox, a Doctoral Student at Butler University.

A warning to parents:  Be on the lookout for an alarming trend known as “Pharm Parties,” this isn’t your average bonfire.

“Actually ‘Pharm Parties’ are where teens bring prescription medications that they get access to, whether it be in their parents medication cabinets or from other teens on the street, and they bring them, put them in a pile, and have a party on taking these medications,” said Cox.

Disposing medications properly means a chance to stop addiction and ultimately save lives.

“Hopefully the gist is that people who have pills just laying around their home that somebody might get a hold of, whether it be through a burglar, a family member, whoever it may be, so take this temptation away.”

It is not recommended to dispose of medications by flushing them.

If you missed drug take back day and have unwanted prescriptions, you can call your local pharmacist or the sheriff’s department for how to dispose of them.

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