By John Miller
Saturday (April 28) is the ninth National Day of Prescription Drugs to Recover, a federal initiative of the Drug Control Agency launched in 2010. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote enough prescriptions that year to medicate all American adults nationwide 24 hours a day for a full month.
DEA medication returns are performed twice a year, designating safe and anonymous delivery locations for unused medications. It forms a thread in a growing network of national strategies aimed at combating what is considered the biggest drug crisis in the history of the United States. UU., Driven by opioid abuse, a deadly habit that claimed more than 64,000 lives last year.
Backs have a special meaning in New Mexico, a state that recorded the second highest rate of deaths from overdoses in 2014. In Taos County, an estimated 57 residents died from opiate overdoses in the past six years .
Prescription drug delivery points without using drugs are available year-round in Taos County at the Questa Police Department, the Taos Pueblo Police Department and the Taos Police Department.
From 10 a.m. at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Smith's grocery store will open as a temporary location, along with the Questa Police Department north of Taos and the Taos Pueblo Police Department. The Taos police department, however, will be closed. Unwanted medications can be safely and anonymously taken to any location; liquids, gels and needles will not be accepted.
One more year, the initiative is being improved by Taos Alive, a group of community members, police, health professionals and volunteers who have been meeting every month since 2010 to discuss strategies to combat drug abuse. alcohol and drugs in Taos county.
In its beginning in 2007, Taos Alive had a more limited objective to combat underage drinking. In 2010, largely under Julie Bau's coordination efforts, Taos Alive expanded the scope of its efforts to include drug prevention.
"Many of our young people receive recipes they misuse from family and friends," said Bau. "A first aid kit can be an easy place to access prescription drugs."
Bau echoed studies suggesting that most heroin users begin to first consume opioid pain medications, which are chemically identical to heroin.
CDC estimates that the number of prescription pills sold to health centers in the United States tripled between 1999 and 2010, and many of those prescriptions were written by physicians who lacked knowledge of the addictive nature of opioids, or who they knew him and they were looking for profits.
It is a problem that health centers across the country have taken drastic measures since the opiate epidemic came to light for the first time. Robert Motha, the current pharmacy director at Holy Cross Hospital, said his department takes careful measures to ensure that patients are not over-prescribed.
"We oversee the prescribing practices of our providers within our emergency department," Motha said, adding that the monthly reports "Prescribing profile of all controlled substances for each provider to identify any trends or excessive prescription" .
While such efforts should mitigate over-prescribing in Taos County, the county's overdose mortality rate, in part due to the abuse of pills and state averages.
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the Taos Alive drug reacquisition events collected nearly 1,000 pounds of unused medications from 2013 to 2016.
Miles Bonny, Taos Alive Recipe Abuse Coalition Coordinator He hopes that the collections this year will exceed the approximately 150 pounds each event has collected in past years.
That is probably due to the improved educational efforts that Bonny has led to lead the recovery.
Personally visited local nursing homes, homeless shelters, pharmacies, and youth organizations, where he educates the public about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and demonstrates how opioid overdoses, specifically, can be reversed by the use of Narcan, a nasal spray for which Taos Alive has a license to distribute.
He and his team hope their efforts will show in the form of a record turnout on Saturday.  "I definitely think that the word is spreading that returning old and used medicines is not just a concept, but a present reality in which people can participate very easily," Bonny said.