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It's great to be able to do something — anything — to reduce drug abuse.
The Alaska State Troopers, along with other police agencies, participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back twice a year.
One occurred in April; the latest this fall when Alaskans turned in 1,838 pounds of prescription medication to authorities. Those drugs won't be falling into the wrong hands — children and other people who have no business with them.
The Drug Enforcement Administration hopes to one day establish a nationwide disposal process for prescription medications. Until then, the take-back event occurs every six months.
The Alaska National Guard Counterdrug Support Program also lent a hand in the event.
Medicines left over long periods in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to the Troopers. More people abuse prescription drugs than use cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Most of the prescription drugs used by abusers are taken from family and friends, specifically from home medicine cabinets.
The best way to prevent such abuse is to eliminate the leftover drugs. This event does that. There's no telling what effect it has on specific people's lives, but it certainly must save some of them. They can't use the drugs that are out of their reach.
And this event is something all Alaskans can participate in to save lives and reduce drug abuse.