Prescription and over the counter drug abuse is a growing problem among young people. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America website: 12 to 17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined. There are as many new abusers age 12 to 17 of prescription drugs as there are of marijuana.
These statistics are alarming when the easy access to prescription and over the counter drugs is considered. Many people keep prescription drugs in their homes and medicine cabinets. When these prescriptions and medications are no longer needed there are few options for safe disposal and the medications are often forgotten about. The home and medicine cabinets are the most popular source for teens to obtain prescription and over the counter drugs.
The Alliance of Southwest Missouri supports community anti-drug coalitions in Carthage, Neosho, McDonald County and the Joplin Area. These coalitions covering the geographical boundaries of four counties to seek to provide leadership, education and resources to prevent and address substance abuse and other unhealthy choices. In collaboration with Police Departments and the Jasper and Newton County Sheriff Departments, these coalitions are providing an opportunity for individuals to safely dispose of medications that are no longer being used.