Today prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana, with 1 in 5 young adults reporting they have abused a prescription drug. From 2008 to 2012 Okanogan County has seen a 93% increase in tenth grade prescription drug abuse, according to the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Here’s what you can do in Okanogan County to limit access and increase barriers to access in an effort to decrease diversion by:
· Safely returning unused medications to the return slot at The Omak Police Department, Okanogan County’s FIRST PERMANENT Rx take back site. The outdoor drop off slot is located on the North side of the Police Department building and accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Below is a link to a list of items that are accepted and not accepted.
· Return unused medications throughout the County during National DEA Rx Drug Take Back Days. Locations and times are posted on our website during months with Take Back Days.
· Securely store all medications in a home medicine lock box, provided to community members for free at OmakCity Hall, The DSHS Office in Omak, Aging and Adult Care beside Mid Valley Hospital in Omak, or by calling 509-826-8483 or 509-826-8454.