VOLUNTEERS DISTRIBUTING HUNDREDS OF BAGS FOR SAFE DISPOSAL OF OLD AND UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
To counter the rising number of opioid deaths, Saturday, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Sheriff Bill Gore, Safe Homes Coalition and the San Diego Association of REALTORS kicked off the “Keep Kids Safe” program.
For the 4thyear in a row, the number of San Diegans who died from unintentional drug-related deaths went up. According to the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, 273 people died in 2017. And 4 in 10 teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug say they stole it from their parent’s medicine cabinet.
“As a parent of three children, this terrifies me,” said Supervisor Gaspar. “That’s why I contributed $100,000 of District 3 funds to help launch the “Keep Kids Safe” program and make every parent aware of the silent danger that may be sitting in their medicine cabinet.” CEO of Safe Homes Coalition Scott Silverman said, “Prescription drug abuse is a critical and complex public health issue that impacts millions of Americans. Together, we can keep these addictive medications out of the hands of children and save lives”.
More than 150 real estate professionals went door-to-door around the county explaining how leaving unused prescription medications in their home can get into the wrong hands. They provided pre-paid, pre-addressed envelopes in which San Diegans can place unwanted prescriptions that will be shipped to a facility and incinerated.
Sheriff Gore said, “By making prescription drugs less accessible to our youth and those they are not prescribed for, we will help to reduce overdoses, deaths and many crimes occurring in our region.”
The hope is for San Diegans to be proactive and make prescription drugs less accessible to children.
Program partner American Medical Response said, “Our medics are witness to this crisis nearly every day and we must all join together to help tackle the drug problem we are seeing in our community.”