Opinion: Prescription drug dangers all too real

Pam Slater-Price

District 3 supervisor, San Diego County Board of Supervisors

Thank you for publishing the notice about Tuesday’s presentation in Solana Beach on the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse among teens.

As the county supervisor representing Solana Beach and surrounding communities, I have seen first-hand the tragic consequences suffered by teens who had considered themselves indestructible.

All too often, the nightmare of drug abuse begins with left-over painkillers or other prescription drugs right from the family’s medicine cabinet.

My office took action on this issue in 2009, organizing the formation of the Oxy Task Force — a consortium of county, state and federal officials — whose mission was to educate the community about the danger of OxyContin and to reduce its supply. The task force recently has expanded to include all prescription drugs.

As we campaign to raise awareness about prescription drug dangers we also have acted to get rid of the drugs themselves. Last year, Sheriff Bill Gore and I authored an ordinance to install 23 prescription drug dropoff boxes at secure locations throughout the county.

Residents can dump prescription and over-the-counter drugs in these receptacles with no questions asked. One of the dropoff boxes can be found at the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station.

We also have hosted take-back days, where I joined sheriff’s deputies and DEA agents in the collection efforts. Our most recent event netted nearly 4,800 pounds of drugs.

These are positive steps, but complacency could invite tragedy. I appreciate Sheriff’s Sgt. David Ross once again working late to inform the community and I applaud parents who are committed to spreading the word about this important issue.

Parents who believe their child might have a drug problem should call the county’s Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339.

   
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