While various members of the medical community looking to heighten the number of options available to opioid-addicted Marylanders, there’s another approach that everyone involved can agree is the best way to ward off potential tragedy.
And that, said Joan Webb Scornaienchi, executive director of HC DrugFree, simply is keeping as many people as possible away from opioids in the first place.
There are three points that HC DrugFree cites to help make that happen, Scornaienchi said.
“First, talk to your doctor before [s/he] prescribes meds,” she said. “Don’t bring drugs into your home when you don’t need to, and ask them the questions HC DrugFree suggests during the conversation; second, lock your meds in a medication storage box or cabinet, or at least hide them; and, third, properly dispose of meds, as well as your sharps (e.g., needles), after they are expired.
“These,” Scornaienchi said, “are proven prevention strategies.”
While the numbers of overdosing and dying citizens have only gotten worse, she pointed out that HC DrugFree’s last Drug Take Back event, a drive-thru held last April, resulted in the nonprofit collecting 1,127 pounds of medications, plus 13 large bins of sharps. “At least 600 cars came through Wilde Lake Village Center that day,” she said.
Most recently, HC DrugFree partnered with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) on back-to-school nights to debut a three-minute video to educate families about the crisis at all HCPSS high and middle schools.
Today, the energy is focused on the next Drug Take Back event, again a drive-thru at the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot, on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Scornaienchi said that the majority of the drugs collected at these gatherings, which include opioids as well as other drugs, are often turned in by family members after another family member has died.
Today, Scornaienchi is hoping for an even greater response on the 28th.
“We keep warning people that the next overdose could be ‘You, me or a loved one,’” she said. “People need to be aware of the numbers.”