To combat the availability of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications throughout the community, the Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department are partnering together to open secured prescription drug collection boxes at five sheriff’s facilities in Stanislaus County.
The two agencies have been working together to decrease the rates of prescription medications ending up being abused or improperly discarded since 2009 with a series of “Drop the Drugs” take back events. Together they have collected and disposed of over 8,900 pounds of prescription medications that were accumulating in homes throughout the county.
The permanent prescription drug drop boxes are at the sheriff’s department at 250 E. Hackett Road in Modesto and at substations in Patterson, Hughson, Waterford and Riverbank.
The collection boxes are an extension of the nationwide drug take back events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Over the years the DEA has collected more than 4.1 million pounds of prescription medications.
The non-medical use of controlled substance medications is at an all-time high, with 6.8 million Americans reporting having abused prescription drugs in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health released in 2013. That same study revealed more than 54 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet. The most common prescription medications being abused throughout the nation are opiate based medications generally referred to as painkillers. Studies have shown that abuse of painkillers is often the gateway for heroin use.