The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Carl Kotowski, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA Baltimore Office, presented an award to Harford County Executive David R. Craig Jan. 17 in honor of the county's successful role in the nationwide prescription drug take back days.
Over the past 18 months Harford County has collected 3,750 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications for safe and proper disposal.
"In the October 2011 take back initiative, Harford County ranked number one in total collection and participation," Kotowski said in a press release.
Through the continued support and hard work of more than 3,945 state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners, the DEA reports that events such as these have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue.
Nationally, an estimated 6.2 million Americans 12 or older reported misusing prescription drugs. Locally over the past five years, 55 percent of the drug and alcohol overdose deaths of Harford County residents were related to prescription drug overdoses, according to the county press release.
Commenting on the program, Craig said in the release: "We are dedicated to addressing the alarming rate of drug overdoses relating to prescription and over-the-counter medications. Each pill turned in represents a pill that will not get into the hands of someone who would abuse it."
The next scheduled Prescription Drug Take Back Day in Harford County will be April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the County Administrative Offices parking lot, 220 South Main Street in Bel Air.
The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy coordinates the local events to address the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse. For more information about prescription drug abuse contact the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-638-3333.