Upper Bucks HCHY Coalition & DEA Partner for Rx Drug Take-Back September 25, 2010

Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Coalition partners with DEA for First-Ever National Prescription Drug Take-Back, Saturday, September 25 - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Online PR News – 11-September-2010 – – QUAKERTOWN, PA – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is partnering with government, public health, community, and law enforcement partners on a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative which seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. DEA and partnering agencies will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction on Saturday, September 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Upper Bucks collection sites include the following locations: Richland Township Police Department, Quakertown Borough Police Department, Perkasie Borough Police Department, and Dublin Borough Police Department.

Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (UBHCHY), in keeping with its mission of preventing alcohol, drug and substance use among Upper Bucks youth, supports this initiative and encourages community members to take advantage of this opportunity to properly dispose of unused prescription medications.

“Community residents may be unknowing sources of substances that teens are using to get high,” said Lee Rush, executive director of justCommunity, Inc. and a member of the UBHCHY Coalition. “Seven of the ten drugs most commonly abused by teens are actually prescription medications,” said Rush.

The “Take-Back” initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is increasing at an alarming rate, as well as accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Compounding the problem is the fact that many people don’t know how to properly dispose of unused medication, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. These are both potential safety and health hazards.

“This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by misuse and abuse (of prescription drugs). Working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way,” said Michele M. Leonhart, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations. Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.

“Prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health,” said Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske.

Quakertown-based justCommunity (http://www.justcommunity.com) promotes positive youth development by providing information, supporting programs, and strengthening community relationships that build assets to help youth stay healthy, safe and drug-free. The agency administers a federal grant through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, funding activities of the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (UBHCHY) Coalition, one of over 700 community-based coalitions throughout the U.S. with the mission of reducing alcohol and other drug use among youth.

UBHCHY conducts biennial youth surveys in local high schools in the Palisades, Quakertown, and Pennridge school districts – measuring the level of risk behaviors including alcohol and drug use and the presence of resiliency factors, or the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. For the most recent results of youth surveys, see Student Support Card. justCommunity and Coalition efforts also include delivery of research-based substance abuse curriculum in area high schools. Programs appear on the federal government's National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs and Practices (NREPP). UBHCHY Social Norms projects in area middle and high schools have been recognized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the 2007 National ONDCP Drug Control Strategy as a model example of how to reduce underage drinking.

For more information about the Upper Bucks area’s partnership in the DEA’s Prescription Drug “Take-Back” event, local collection sites, or justCommunity and UBHCHY efforts to enhance healthy youth development, contact Lee Rush at 215-538-479.