Finding source of prescription drugs stressed
Aug 07, 2012
By RYAN DUNN, staff writer, The Courier
A drug abuse task force on Monday discussed how better to pinpoint the source of abused narcotics, in an effort to curb addiction. Members of the prescription drug abuse prevention task force, part of the Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board, spoke of the importance of addressing the problem at the local level. A recent Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America national conference that task force members attended in Nashville highlighted the benefits of considering the problem’s root cause, said Executive Director Precia Stuby. “How do we get down a little deeper so we can make the kind of changes that need to be made in the community?” she said. Law enforcement, for example, tracks details about drug sales or drug possession arrests. Stuby said she hopes to meet with officials to determine how thoroughly that information is detailed.
If opiate and prescription drug arrests are prevalent in specific neighborhoods, that information could be used in fighting the problem, she said.
In an effort to better alleviate pain, controlled substances have become more available over the years, said John Stanovich, assistant dean of pharmacy at the University of Findlay. Individuals seeking the drugs can more easily do so now through illegal pain clinics, he said. Stanovich contrasted those using narcotics to fight acute pain versus chronic pain. Those with brief acute pain generally do not take the majority of their medication, he said.
“The people who have chronic pain eventually do develop an addiction, there’s no doubt about it, to narcotics and to opiates,” he said. Some prescription pills, such as Vicodin, have grown significantly more popular, Stanovich said.
Separately, Randy Greeno, a member of the board’s medication collection committee, encouraged residents to properly dispose of expired and unwanted pills. Two permanent drug collection bins are located in the Findlay Police Department and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. Over the next few months, billboards will be placed in different locations touting these locations, Greeno said. The agency also conducts scheduled events to take back medications. The next collection is Oct. 20.
Members also announced an upcoming public forum, where they will discuss grants and progress made against drug abuse. The forum is scheduled at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 in the Davis Building at the University of Findlay, Room 102.