What's in your medicine cabinet?

Don't keep medication you're no longer taking in your home. Dispose of it safely during National Drug Take-Back Day October 28. ( Pixabay.com photo )

Don't keep medication you're no longer taking in your home. Dispose of it safely during National Drug Take-Back Day October 28. (Pixabay.com photo)

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

Happy pills? Hillbilly heroin? Oxy? Percs? Vikes? These are common names for common prescription drugs: opiates prescribed for pain. They produce chemicals in the body similar to endorphins. But these drugs also can be dangerously addictive, especially when they are not taken according to doctors’ orders.

If you have old painkillers in your home, consider disposing of them October 28 during National Drug Take-Back Day. Lake Health District’s Prevention and Wellness Department is partnering with the Lakeview Police Department to collect prescription drugs. During a take-back event in April, police and Prevention collected more than 45 pounds of drugs.

Collection events keep old prescription drugs off the streets and out of our water supply. They also help protect the children and teens in our community and our households. Nationwide, the number of children hospitalized for opiate poisoning has more than doubled in recent years. Most got the drugs in their own home.

Opioids are making headlines across the country as medical professionals and addiction specialists look for ways to combat an epidemic that has led to more than 165,000 prescription opioid-related deaths since 1999. Oregon Health Authority reports that the state has one of the highest rates of prescription narcotic abuse in the country.

In Oregon, more drug poisoning deaths involve prescription opioids than any other type of drug, including alcohol, methamphetamines, heroin, and cocaine. An average of three Oregonians die every week from prescription opioid overdose, and many more develop opioid use disorder.
— Oregon Health Authority

It’s important to note that opioids, like other prescription drugs, can be the appropriate treatment. Doctors prescribe pills to patients who are recovering from surgery or major injuries, and to people with chronic pain. Not everyone who uses opioids will become addicted.

But if you have old drugs in your home, take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of them safely. The take-back event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 28, at the Lakeview Police Department, 245 North F St., Lakeview.

For more information, call Prevention coordinator Francie Winters at (541) 947-2114 ext. 441 or the Police Department at (541) 947-2504.