Drug Take-Back Day yields 52.5 pounds | SteamboatToday.com

Drug Take-Back Day yields 52.5 pounds

Kate Nowak hands over old prescription drugs to Steamboat Springs Police Department Evidence Technician Forest Yeager on Saturday during Drug Take-Back Day at Sk8 Church.
Matt Stensland

— Drug Take-Back Day in Steamboat Springs took on a different flavor this year.

With the momentum of a newly formed Rx Task Force, residents cleaned out their medicine cabinets and dropped off 52.5 pounds of medications at Sk8 Church in Riverside Plaza.

“It’s been going really well,” said Ken Davis, one of the founders of the Task Force, which has been educating the community about the dangers of addictive painkillers. “A lot of parents have been coming in with their scripts or their parents’ scripts.”

During the past month, the Task Force has hosted four lunch and learn sessions to educate the community about the prescription drug abuse epidemic that is impacting Steamboat, along with communities across the United States.

“It’s being talked about all over the community,” Davis said.

Buck Chavarria has known people in Routt County who have overdosed on painkillers and heroin and hosted the event at his church, which hosts indoor skateboarding. Chavarria is also a member of the Task Force.

“We’ve communicated a ton of info to the community,” Chavarria said. “This is the action step in getting drugs off the street and out of our community.”

Those who dropped off drugs at the event were given free skateboard decks.

“We want kids to be leaders in this movement,” Chavarria said.

In addition the drug Task Force members, there were representatives from The Foundry rehabilitation facility, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide and Mind Springs Health.

Routt County United Way Executive Director Kate Nowak dropped off medications she had in her medicine cabinet since before 2000.

“What a better way to come out and support the Rx Task Force,” Nowak said.

Steamboat Springs Police Department employees collected the drugs, which will be disposed of by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“A lot of kids are getting an education about why you dispose of these,” police Chief Cory Christensen said.

Dennis Martinez, 1978 United States skateboarding champion, was at the event and spoke to more than 700 students, teachers and parents Friday at Steamboat Springs High School. Martinez shared his life story and spoke about the dangers that exist with painkillers and their gateway to more dangerous drugs.

“Everybody’s on board with this,” Martinez said. “It’s a movement.”

The Task Force is not finished with their work.

The Task Force will be the focus of the April 6 Coffee and a Newspaper event hosted by the Steamboat Today. The discussion will begin at 7:30 a.m.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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