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News You Can Use: City of Henderson National Drug Take Back Day

CITY OF HENDERSON- NEWS RELEASE

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE                                 September 8, 2010

223 Lead Street, Henderson, NV, 89015

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE                                                                                          

Please contact Keith Paul at 267-4510 or Jason Roth at 968-1633 for further information

City of Henderson to Present Operation Medicine Cabinet

In Conjunction with National Drug Take Back Day

Event encourages residents to clean out medicine cabinets of unnecessary drugs

What: Operation Medicine Cabinet

When: Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Where: In the north parking lot of the Galleria at Sunset Mall, 1300 W. Sunset Rd.

Why: To safely depose of unwanted medications

Henderson, Nev. – In conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s first National Take Back Initiative, the city of Henderson Police Department has joined University of Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to present Operation Medicine Cabinet in Henderson. 

 Unused and expired drugs may be dropped off anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe disposal during the one-day, drive-through event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 in the north parking lot of the Galleria at Sunset Mall, located at 1300 W. Sunset Road.

 “We encourage all residents to look through their medicine cabinets and join us to safely dispose of any old or unneeded prescription medications,” said Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers. “I know that this effort has the potential to prevent a tragedy.”

 Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen also encourages everyone to take advantage of this effort on Sept. 25 to rid their homes of unwanted medications.

 “We want to keep these medications from being misused, especially by our young people, and hope all our residents will use this as a chance to come down and help us in this effort,” Mayor Hafen said.

 According to Paul Oesterman, associate professor of pharmacy practice and faculty advisor of the Drug Abuse Awareness Team at the University of Southern Nevada College of Pharmacy, the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, particularly by teens, has increased at an alarming rate in Southern Nevada and across the country.

 The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009, showed that one in five U.S. high school students say they have taken a prescription drug such as OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Ritalin®, or Xanax®, without a physician’s prescription. Twelfth-graders had the highest likelihood of prescription drug abuse, at 26 percent. A 2009 study by USN, facilitated by Oesterman, found similar rates among Clark County School District middle school students.

 “Unfortunately, most people, particularly youth, are either unaware of or not concerned with the potential chemical dangers of these drugs,” said Oesterman. “There are varying strengths, side-effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren’t prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Tragically, the result can be great bodily harm or even death.” 

 According to Henderson Police Officer Nicole Guess, in addition to regularly cleaning out home medicine cabinets and safely disposing of unwanted drugs and medications, it is also critical that the public secure their current medications at home, so teens can’t access them, as well as keep track of quantities. It’s also important, especially for parents, to make certain that friends and relatives do the same.

 Since being introduced in Southern Nevada in February, Operation Medicine Cabinet has conducted two drug collection events yielding more than 380,000 oral doses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs to be destroyed.

 Operation Medicine Cabinet is presented by the University of Southern Nevada Drug Abuse Awareness Team, city of Henderson, Henderson Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Narcotics Education Foundation of Nevada, Clark County Coroner’s Office, Pain in the Drain, Drug Enforcement Administration and 8 News Now.

For additional information on Operation Medicine Cabinet and information on securing and properly discarding prescription and over-the-counter drugs, visit www.operationmedicinecabinetlv.org or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/operationmedicinecabinetlv.

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