Police in Kentucky have come out to explain why they chose to get rid of unused prescription painkillers. According to Kenton County Police Chief Spike Jones, there is no case of a heroin addict who starts with a needle. The fact is that most of the addicts start with the consumption of prescription painkillers for nonmedical use.
It often starts off as a one-time practice. Many addicts have narrated to the police how they started by taking a few drugs from their parents medicine cabinet. Others get them from friends and many other sources. Before they know it, they are already hooked and in case the supply is cut off, they move to other options such as heroin.
Jones said that he is teaming with 15 other departments of police in Northern Kentucky to start a campaign that will see unused prescription painkillers removed from homes. It all started as a social media campaign that attracted lots of people under several tags. It is expected that the campaign will go on throughout the month of April as it gathers momentum. The county will use its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages to post all the information that the locals need to know. They also post about the locations where the unused prescription drugs are supposed to be dropped.
According to Jones, the major focus of the campaign is to create awareness. The main thing here is to get the message across to all people that keeping these drugs in their homes is a big challenge to the fight against opiate abuse. What makes it even more effective is the way that it coincides with the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will be marked on the 30th of April.
Although the current campaigns started just recently, the process of collecting unused drugs from homes has been ongoing. There are pharmacies that take back drugs from police collection points every day. The process is headed in the region by the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force. After collection, the drugs are processed and destroyed.
The campaign is only out to make sure that there are more drugs getting out of homes and ensuring that people do not fall into opioid abuse just because they have access to the drugs in their homes. According to the police, the nationwide heroin epidemic can be traced back to drugs that are not used and so, getting them out of homes should be a major priority for everyone. During the campaign, they will also focus on the connection between heroin and opioids and educate people on the dangers posed by the ease of access to drugs.
The initiative aims to beat last year’s record when more than half a ton unused prescription drugs were dropped in police boxes set up all over the county. In order to achieve this, they hope to engage the masses through various platforms most notably social media where they will be posting images of the collected drugs and sending out encouragement messages that will lead to more collections.