According to the National Neighborhood Watch, “Fueled by accessibility and high demand, medication theft – coined ‘pharmaceutical diversion’ by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration – has escalated in recent years. The National Drug Intelligence Center reported that $184 million in prescription drug thefts occurred in 2010 – a 350 percent increase since 2007. Particularly vulnerable are older adults, who may fall victim to unscrupulous caregivers or family members, or even to strangers hunting for an easy target.”
The reality of this problem is concerning in places like Lincoln County, where there is a high number of retirees and other people who depend on prescription drugs for various ailments. So, outside of vigilance and caution, what else can people do to stop the spread of illegally procured pharmaceuticals?
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, alongside organizations like the NyE Communities Coalition, will host a drug takeback day throughout the county Saturday, Oct. 23. Two businesses will serve as locations for people to safely drop off their unused or expired meds. For the southern part of the county, Alamo and Hiko residents can drop off their medications at the Sinclair Gas Station from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. In the north, people from Caliente to Pioche can visit the Great Basin Foods grocery store to dump their pills, also from 10-12.
In addition to the drug take back day, a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) forum will be hosted in the conference room of the Panaca Town Center (1005 Main Street) Oct. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. At this meeting, people can interact and ask questions of the folks at Trac-B about MAT, which is “the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a ‘whole-patient’ approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.” If you have any questions about this method or are interested in knowing more about this forum, contact Chelsi Cheatom at 1 (866) 687-2879.