Churchill County Coalition attends national drug summit
Churchill Community Coalition staff Cynthia Lawson and Kristin Sheldon attended the National Rx Drug Summit in Atlanta, Ga., in late March to learn about the newest trends in the prescription drug epidemic facing the nation.
Lawson and Sheldon attended a panel discussion attended by President Barack Obama where he discussed his plans for reducing the rate of addiction to prescription pain killers in the U.S. and ways to combat this crisis head on.
The president’s panel discussion followed a speech given by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who spoke about his ambition to combating the disease of addiction and promoting the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which is a database doctors use to check patients prescription history to help alleviate over prescribing and intervene before addiction sets in.
“From all my research, I knew the opioid epidemic in our nation was substantial, but when I learned that the United States holds less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet Americans consume nearly 80 percent of the global opioid supply, I realized how severe this epidemic truly is,” said Sheldon, the Churchill Coalition Outreach Coordinator.
The opioid epidemic is hitting closer to home than most realize. In 2014, statistics show Churchill County had 212 prescription drug overdoses, 22 of which were youth under the age of 21. Many obntained their pills from prescriptions or the medicine cabinets of family and friends.
Coalition Director Andrea Zeller expressed this message; “It is very important that everyone keep their medicine cabinets locked and their medications out of reach of minors. Please do not let unused or expired prescription drugs sit in cabinets or cupboards in your home, dispose of them safely at the Prescription Drug Drop Box located inside the Law Enforcement building at 73 N. Maine St., or take them to the Prescription Drug Round Up April 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m in the CVS parking lot.”