Prescription drug take back days scheduled for Sept. 26 in Routt, Moffat counties
Steamboat Springs — Grand Futures Prevention Coalition is partnering with Northwest Colorado police departments to facilitate a prescription drug take back day Sept. 26.
The day is aligned with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s take back day and is significant for Routt County residents, as there are no designated prescription drug drop off locations within the county available for regular use.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with drop-off locations at the Steamboat Springs Police Department, 840 Yampa Ave., as well as the Oak Creek Police Department, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd., and in Craig in the Centennial Mall Parking Lot, 1111 W. Victory Way.
The take back day supports Grand Futures’ efforts to spread awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, one of many initiatives of the nonprofit, which aims to prevent teen substance abuse and support healthy alternatives.
“I do think we have a problem here, and I think in our community it’s easy to miss or overlook,” said Adrienne Hearne, Grand Futures’ Routt County program director.
Hearne said turning in unused or expired prescription drugs is important to keep the drugs from falling into the hands of unaware young children, pilferers who might go through garbage and particularly out of the hands of teens — who may take pills recreationally.
Cocktail parties, where teens mix several prescription drugs into a drink and ingest it, aren’t unheard of in Steamboat Springs, Hearne said.
Accepted items for the drug take back day include household prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, but do not include needles, chemotherapy drugs, pressurized containers or oxygen tanks.
Hearne, who joined Grand Futures this summer, said preventing prescription drug abuse is the cause she’s most passionate about advocating for in her new position.
She said her family has a history of addiction and she thinks there’s a stigma against mental health issues in Steamboat Springs, leading to the problem going relatively unnoticed.
“This community is perceived to be so perfect,” Hearne said. “Depression and addiction are very prevalent things that happen in all communities, and in places like Steamboat they get overlooked.”
Hearne encourages people who might be struggling with prescription drug or opiate abuse to seek help through Narcotics Anonymous groups locally or through talking to a friend or family member.
“If you feel that you have an issue, talk to somebody,” Hearn said.
More information about the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs is available at takemedsseriously.org.
To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow
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