Tag Archives: Substance Use Prevention

Safe Disposal of Medications

St Mary’s Drug Drop Off Initiative

(Sept 18, 2015, Leonardtown, MD)  Prescription drug abuse continues to be a growing national epidemic. Addiction overdoses and deaths involving non-medical prescription drug use, especially narcotic pain relievers, have risen dramatically over the last decade. This growth is fueled by misperceptions about prescription drug safety and increasing availability. Research shows that over half the number of people who obtained prescription drugs for non-medical use received them from a friend or relative at no cost, while another 15% bought them or took them from a friend or relative.

Consumers can help reduce prescription drug abuse rates by safely disposing of prescriptions through participation in the St. Mary’s County Drug Drop-Off Program. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has a prescription drug drop-off available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It’s located in the front lobby of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Leonardtownand is completely anonymous. Simply remove all identifying information on labels and place in one of the two drop boxes.

Since the Drug Drop-Off Program began in 2011, 601,015 pills, 525 controlled pain patches and 58 bottles of controlled liquids have been diverted and properly disposed. St. Mary’s County is the only community in Maryland that counts individual pills/units to provide a means of tracking over prescribed medications.

“We have the blueprint, and we know the drug take-back program works,” states Captain Daniel D. Alioto, Commander St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics.  “Although there is a national drug take back day on September 26 every year,  here in St. Mary’s County we take back every day.It comes down to a commitment from the Sheriff’s Office and the community.  This program has made an impact.”

Opportunities for safe disposal include:

  • Two drop boxes located in the front office at the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Leonardtown. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services Health Fair, Friday, October 30th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California.
  • For St. Mary’s County residents facing mobility challenges, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office will offer a pick-up service to retrieve unwanted prescription medications. Contact the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services at 301-475-4200, ext. 1050 to register. Uniformed deputies will pick-up your unwanted medications and safely transport them to the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, September 26th. Last day to register for pick-up is Thursday, September 24th.

In addition to proper disposal, proper management of medications can also help prevent drug misuse and abuse.   Keeping medications out of sight and out of reach from others in the household; never share prescriptions or take someone else’s medication, and only take medication as directed.  A survey released by the National Community Pharmacists Association found that 75% of adults do not always take their prescription medication as directed.  Many forget to take their medication, take less than the prescribed dosage, or stop taking it before the supply runs out. In more than half the cases, the patients made these decisions without talking to a healthcare professional.

Working in support of the prescription drug drop-off program and other overdose response initiatives are the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services, St. Mary’s County Health Department, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, and Walden Sierra Behavioral Health. With additional input from local pharmacies and medical practitioners, the Behavioral Health Action Team was formed. The team is a subcommittee of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership. Its goal is to identify specific issues related to substance abuse and mental health, formulate solutions, and seek funding to assist with services.

For more information: http://healthystmarys.com/behavioral-health/smartrx/

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Youth Drug Prevention Summit

Prevention Summit

On March 10, 2015, over 150 St. Mary’s County students participated in and facilitated the first student run

Youth Drug Prevention Summit!

The Youth Drug Prevention Summit featured interactive learning programs, information from community organizations, and keynote speaker Frank Kros from the Upside Down Organization.

The purpose of the summit was to increase awareness and educate community students about the risk and dangers associated with substance misuse. Furthermore,  student organizers and adult mentors hoped to generate discussion about future projects and engage youth in local prevention efforts that will serve to bring further understanding to all St. Mary’s County school age students about this issue.


Drug Summit Links

Youth Prevention Drug Summit Home Page

Student Fact Sheet

Upside Down Organization

Community Vendors

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Community Alcohol Coalition

MedStar Family Choice

NAMI Southern Maryland

St. Mary’s County Department of Aging &and Human Services

St. Mary’s County Health Department

St. Mary’s County Library

Walden

Drug Summit News

SMCPS Drug Summit Article

SoMdNews Drug Summit Coverage

Official Drug Summit Press Release

Substance Use Prevention Update

Spotlight: Substance Use Prevention and Control Funding

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 the Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County voted to approve the $100,000 plan for FY 2015 non-recurring county funds to address the substance abuse issues affecting St. Mary’s county residents. The plan proposed to include several local efforts in distribution of the funds, including:
  • Local health communications and education efforts, led by the Department of Aging and Human Services, targeted to youth and other at risk populations.
    • Some funds are being utilized to support the student sponsored drug summit focusing on youth substance abuse prevention in March 2015.
    • Remaining funds will be used for the development, production, and distribution of health education materials focusing on substance use prevention and control. Efforts will target all middle and high school students (public and non-public) in St. Mary’s County.
  • Building local capacity to provide life skills training and mentoring for youth
    • More information coming soon!
  • Training local primary care providers and school counselors in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT).
    • Walden has been selected as the local training provider.
    • Group and individual provider training is now available!
    • Training for SMCPS middle and high school counselors has been scheduled for February 2015.
    • 5 local primary care providers have been trained so far!
  • Implementation of a local health needs assessment on the topic of substance abuse prevention and response.
    • Health Resources in Action has been selected as the contractor to implement this project.
    • HRiA has been working with the Behavioral Health Action Team to administer focus groups and key informant interviews for April 2015.
  • Providing Intensive Outpatient Services for female inmates at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.
    • Walden has been selected by the Sheriff’s Office to provide this service
    • 66% of women served have a primary opiate addiction diagnosis.
  • Implementation of the Overdose Response Program (ORP) for law enforcement officials in St. Mary’s County. Through the ORP, qualified individuals are trained, certified and equipped to administer Naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdose.
    • The Health Department has trained, certified, and equipped 130 law enforcement officials to administer Naloxone.
    • Additional training is scheduled for March 2015.