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Prescription Drugs

Monitor Your Meds Campaign

Be Free Lake is now offering a limited number of prescription drug medication bags to agencies that request them. These bags deactivate prescription drugs, rendering them ineffective for misuse and safe for the environment.

Please submit the form below to have Be Free Lake contact your organization concerning these bags.

Prescription Drug Medication Bag Request

Agency Information

Prescription Dropboxes in Lake

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Florida Coalitions in Action Make National News!

Florida Coalitions Have a Prescription for RX Abuse

Florida is on its way to shedding its notorious title of “the Oxy Express” when the governor, with coalition support, signed last month into effect a bill that cracks down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain medication, feeding a statewide and nationwide RX abuse epidemic.

While reducing use rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana remains the coalition’s focus, the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention Pasco County (ASAP) couldn’t ignore the fact that an estimated seven Floridians die every day from prescription drug abuse. And their county has seen an exponential increase in the number of babies born to mothers who abuse prescription drugs.

One of the coalition’s supporters, Sen. Mike Fasano, a staunch advocate of a prescription drug monitoring database, was able to persuade the governor to preserve and improve their recently passed RX monitoring database.

The bill tightens reporting requirements to the database from 15 days to seven days, a change critics said the program needed to make it more effective.

The measure also increases penalties for overprescribing Oxycodone and other narcotics, tracks wholesale distribution of some controlled substances, and provides $3 million to support law enforcement efforts and state prosecutors. It also bans most doctors who prescribe narcotics from dispensing them, requiring prescriptions to be filled at certain types of pharmacies.

In Pasco County, Chrissie Parris, ASAP’s Coordinator, is seeing that for adults in treatment, prescription drugs are the No. 1 drugs of choice and for youth, they are no. 2, behind marijuana. The coalition partnered with their sheriff’s office on take back events, provided information on how to report a suspected pill mill, and established a permanent prescription drug drop box at their police station. They are also working with primary care physicians on a campaign to cross train them on identifying problematic prescriptions and they have a pain management doctor in their coalition. Just last month, more than 125 physicians from all over the country descended on Capitol Hill to demand legislative assistance in the battle against prescription drug addiction, calling for better training to reduce inappropriate prescriptions.

“Rx abuse has helped the coalition build capacity…I receive weekly emails from people who want to help,” Parris said. Many of these people have been referred to them by local politicians and Sen. Fasano’s office. 

The United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse in Fort Lauderdale has had Rx abuse on their radar for almost a decade. When it became apparent that most of the pill mills and “doc shopping” was occurring in Broward County, they began collaborating with Parris’ coalition and coalitions and other advocates throughout the state eliminate or restrict these businesses. Broward County had become the nation’s pill-mill capital, with 130 pain clinics in operation. In Broward alone, more than one million oxycodone tablets are prescribed every month. Broward commissioners recently approved an ordinance with strict rules on zoning, hours of operation and business practices of pain management clinics. They also prohibit the clinics from operating within 1,200 feet of another pain management clinic, place of worship, child care center or educational center.

Pat Castillo, the commission’s Vice-President, said, “We started advocating for a prescription drug monitoring program and as the years kept going forward and we saw that needle going up and up on the drug trends report we knew that we needed to do more at the state level, than just at the coalition level.”

After seven years of advocacy, the commission got a prescription drug monitoring program passed in 2009, but when the governor’s proposed a repeal in his budget, the coalition mobilized again to help secure an even better bill.

“I think we absolutely contributed to the governor’s turn, or some of us like to say ‘epiphany.’ We really came together, along with our coalitions and partners in all parts of the state, to get the message out there,” Castillo said. “I think it was all of those efforts together to make that change happen.”

With the law going to take effect in October, like the Pasco County coalition, Broward County’s commission is now educating physicians who input data into the PDMP. Castillo and Parris know that there is still so much work to be done around Rx abuse in their communities and in their state, but have learned through this process that long-term change starts and ends at the local level.

“We don’t want to be known as “the Oxy Express,” and it’s not something we’re proud of, but we are certainly proud of our community’s response and we want to be known as one of the coalitions that made a change,” concluded Castillo.

 

 

 

Rising Number of Babies Born Addicted to Prescription Drugs in Florida

Rising Number of Babies Born Addicted to Prescription Drugs in Florida

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A growing number of babies born in Florida are addicted to prescription drugs. Doctors and nurses say they are seeing more babies addicted to prescription pills their mothers took during pregnancy. CNN reports that the state recorded 635 such births in the first half of 2010.

The babies “go through withdrawal symptoms,” Head Nurse Mary Osuch of Broward General Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit told CNN. “They’re crampy, miserable. They sweat. They can have rapid breathing. Sometimes, they can even have seizures.”

For the past two years, prescription drug addiction has been more prevalent than crack addiction among the pregnant women being treated at the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center near Fort Lauderdale, according to Marsha Currant, who runs the center. She says pregnant women who are addicted to prescription drugs are often hesitant to get help because they fear their babies will be taken away. She notes that pregnant women who are addicted to prescription drugs need to be weaned from the drugs under medical supervision to avoid having the fetus go through withdrawal in the womb.

In May, Florida officials met with health care executives to discuss how to protect babies born to women addicted to prescription drugs. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that many pregnant women do not realize the dangers that drugs such as oxycodone and Xanax pose to their unborn babies.

 

 

 

Prescription Drugs 'Take Back Event'

Prescription Drugs Take-Back event coming to Lady Lake on Aug. 18

RELEASE DATE: August 12, 2011

LADY LAKE — The Lake County Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Lady Lake Police Department, is encouraging residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of all unwanted or expired ingestible medicines, vitamins and cough syrups at the upcoming Prescription Drugs Take-Back event on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Home Depot parking lot, located at 871 N. Highway 27, Lady Lake.

The purpose of the event is to encourage residents to properly dispose of all medications in a safe and environmentally sensitive way. The County’s Household Hazardous Waste unit will also be on-hand collecting unwanted household hazardous waste. The staff at the event will be offering a convenient drive-through disposal option for both medications and household hazardous waste, so residents won’t have to leave their vehicle.

Proper disposal of unwanted or expired medicines is important not only for preventing accidental ingestion by animals and children, but also to prevent potential water supply contamination. Studies suggest disposing of medications down the toilet or sink contaminates water supplies and endangers aquatic life in lakes, rivers and streams, since wastewater facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals.

Prescription Drugs Take-Back also aims to remove unwanted or expired controlled prescription medications, especially pain relievers. Prescription medication has become one of the fastest growing abused drugs among youth, who are finding medications to abuse in their own family medicine cabinets.

“Preventing youth from gaining access is one way to prevent and stop this epidemic,” said Johnny Taylor, Lake County Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator. “The Prescription Drugs Take-Back events give residents a chance to dispose of unwanted or expired medications properly.”

Controlled substances can only be turned in to law enforcement agencies due to regulations of the chain of custody. All disposals of medications at the event will be anonymous with no questions asked.

Some items that will not be collected at the event include infectious waste, photographic chemicals, solvents, wastes with a high content of heavy metals (e.g. mercury and cadmium), chemical laboratory wastes or radioactive waste.

Additional future “Prescription Drugs Take Back” events have been scheduled for the following locations and dates:

  • Sept. 15 - Wal-Mart, located at 17030 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora
  • Oct. 20 – Lake County Sheriff’s South Lake Substation, located at 15855 State Road 50, Clermont

For more information about the “Prescription Drugs Take Back” event or Household Hazardous Collection call the Lake County Department of Public Works at (352) 343-3776.
 

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More Information:
Lake County Department of Public Works
(352) 343-3776

Lake County media contact:
Kelly Lafollette
Information Outreach Director
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov