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Over ten pounds of prescription and over the counter drugs were collected through a cooperative effort by partners in CHART (Douglas County Community Health Assistance Resources Team) as a part of the April 28 National Drug Take Back Day. These drugs will now be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to be destroyed.
Medication take back events are one way of keeping medications out of the hands of individuals for whom they are not prescribed. Local law enforcement tells us that prescription drug abuse is one of the issues they deal with in our schools. Prescription drug abuse by definition is the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes.
Taking medications not prescribed for you or not following label directions can lead to undesired effects. Medication reactions can occur even if all precautions are taken for safe use. Some medications can become more or less potent after their expiration dates. By participating in drug take back events you are keeping your unused medications from falling into the hands of untrained individuals who may take them or pass them on to someone.
Prescription drugs are not the only substances that are of concern in our community. Multiple synthetic products that are over priced for their stated use are available in the surrounding area. One such product is called “PUMP-IT Powder.” It is often marketed as a plant vitamin, shoe powder or scouring powder. According to an article found on the Maine State website, www.maine.gov, patients have reported to the emergency rooms having suffered seizures, hallucinations, and paranoia. Users report to physicians that they are experiencing effects that are similar, but more powerful than, cocaine and methamphetamine. This is just one such product that may be purchased easily in neighboring communities and the effects can be deadly. We need to be aware of these. They are packaged in attractive non-threatening easily concealed containers.
CHART is an interagency coalition made up of individuals representing several different agencies partnering with community volunteers to make Douglas County a healthier, safer place to live and raise a family.