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April 18, 2013

Educating area leaders on prescription drug epidemic

DUNCAN — When the 3D group (Dream Duncan’s Destiny) met April 8, they heard from Chris Smith who is with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics about prescription drug diversion to the 3D (Dream Duncan’s Destiny) Association on April 8.

Smith reported that Oklahoma is ranked the number 1 worst in the nation for the non-medical use of prescription drugs, which was determined by the CDC.

“Diversion is any use of a prescription drug other than for what it was prescribed,” said Smith.  

According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) data on non-fatal overdoses, Stephens County had higher rates than the state (.61) per 1,000 population. In 2010 alone Stephens County had 38 non-fatal overdoses with a rate of .84 per 1,000 population. Additionally, from 2006-10 there were 42 fatal overdose deaths in Stephens County due to prescription drugs.

Brooke McCuiston, certified prevention specialist and 3D member said, “Stephens County per capita is higher than the State of Oklahoma for non-medical use of prescription drug data with fatal overdoses, non-fatal overdoses, and drug poisonings.”  

Based on these numbers, the 3D Association is focusing its efforts on reducing the nonmedical use of prescription drugs for Stephens County.

3D is taking steps to begin implementing strategies to combat these statistics. One strategy is educating the public about proper disposal of prescription drugs. The 3D Association said National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27. This day allows our community to safely dispose of medications no longer in use or expired medication.  

According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, “Pharmaceutical drug abuse is on the increase and the abuse has led to too many deaths.”  Unfortunately, the household medicine cabinet has been a source of supply of pharmaceuticals from our youth and invited guests.  

Stephens County has two dropbox locations — Stephens Co. Sheriff’s Office, 101 S. 11th, in the county courthouse and Duncan Police Department, 18 S. Seventh St. Disposing of unused or expired prescriptions is not limited, as the boxes permanently reside at both locations year-round.

“To date, OBN has collected and destroyed 26.2 tons of prescription drugs across the state,” Smith said. While we consider spring cleaning, let’s think about our medicine cabinet.”

For more information on 3D Association efforts, contact Brooke McCuiston at Wichita Mountains Prevention Network – Region 11 RPC at 580-355-5246.

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