VALLEY — San Luis Valley law enforcement joined the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. by providing multiple venues throughout the Valley for persons wishing to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.
During this time 111 pounds of prescription drugs were collected from 67 San Luis Valley (SLV) residents. Nearly all SLV law enforcement agencies participated in the event and the Colorado State Patrol coordinated overall event logistics.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. The medical community plays a critical role in prescription drug control through correct diagnosis, avoiding over-prescribing, and effectively monitoring persons they have prescribed drugs to. Pharmacies also play a key role by reporting prescription fraud and forgery attempts to law enforcement immediately.
While the latest national studies indicate a slight decline in prescription drug abuse, law enforcement in the San Luis Valley believe the problem continues to grow and is something that must be addressed through multiple strategies involving prevention, education, and enforcement.
The Colorado State Patrol and Alamosa Police Department will continue to offer and accept unwanted/unused prescription drugs at their offices during normal business hours.