April 29 is “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” a federal program designed to encourage safe, convenient, and responsible ways of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The program is designed to address several interrelated national issues:
-Addiction to opiates is at an all-time high in America, due in part to the easy availability of leftover medicines in homes across the country.
-Drug overdoses are also soaring, especially among the young and the elderly.
-Leftover drugs are feeding a lucrative black market, encouraging crime and abuse.
-Leftover medicines and used sharps are polluting our environment, endangering the public and causing harm to wildlife.
-There is a lack of safe and convenient ways to dispose of leftover drugs and used sharps.
Santa Cruz County and all local cities have taken a bold and innovative approach to the problem. Local ordinances now require all pharmacies to accept used sharps and leftover medicines for proper disposal at no cost to the consumer. The program is paid for by pharmaceutical manufacturers, and there is no cost to pharmacies or local taxpayers. Santa Cruz County has won a number of awards for this groundbreaking program.
“The program has been a great success. Almost all local pharmacies are now on board, and the rest will be soon," said County planner Tim Goncharoff, who administers the local program. "Last year alone, we collected more than 17,000 pounds of drugs and over 10,000 pounds of needles. This is a big step forward for the people and environment of Santa Cruz County.”
Residents are encouraged to ask their local pharmacist about the program. The County wants to remind people that used needles and leftover medicines should never be flushed or thrown in the trash. “Just take them back to the pharmacy next time you go,” Goncharoff. “What could be easier?”
For more info on local programs, go to: www.santacruzcountyrecycles.org,
For more info on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, go to:
League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County Presents "Understanding Substance Use Disorders" April 20th Event
Substance use disorder affects everyone in Santa Cruz County. The term “substance use disorder” (SUD) describes a broad spectrum of overuse of a substance, resulting in adverse consequences, often accompanied by co-occurring mental health problems.
The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County presents “Understanding Substance Use Disorders”, an event on increasing access to treatment and recovery services and how this can improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.
Nicole Keadle, program coordinator for the Community Corrections Partnership Speakers’ Bureau through Sobriety Works, will discuss how the Talk About It campaign fosters an informed and compassionate county-wide response to substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. You are given the opportunity to find out how this community partnership breaks down barriers to treatment in order to improve health and well-being for all in Santa Cruz County.
You’ll hear from two speakers’ bureau participants about their journey to recovery from substance use disorders. Paul Maartense, an extraordinary man who has never let life’s struggles overcome him, will speak about the connection between substance use disorders and mental illness, and about the ability people have to change if given the chance. Renee Delisle, an inspiring young mother, has used her lived experience and struggles to start over to create a positive change in our community. She will share her recovery experiences and her passion for helping those affected by homelessness and domestic violence.
To learn more about SUD and hear about lived experience, join the League of Women Voters and the Talk About It campaign on Thursday, April 20 at Encompass Community Services, 380 Encinal Street #200, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Bring your own lunch; doors open at 11:30; the presentation will be from noon to 1 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public.
For more information: lwvscc.org 831-325-4140 firstname.lastname@example.org