Police officers are on the front line. They face the nitty and gritty every day. They see first-hand the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
In 2009, 7 million Americans, age 12 and over, abused prescription drugs. That was up 13 percent from the previous year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reported.
Even more frightening, especially for parents, every day an average of 2,500 teenagers use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. The DEA reported that one in seven teens admitted to using prescription drugs to get high between 2008 and 2009, and that 60 percent of the teens who abused prescription drugs did so before they reached the age of 15.
Giving residents a way to dispose of unused prescription drugs is important, the real answer is to keep the drugs out of the hands of potential abusers and dealers in the first place. The chief said the way to do that is with a computerized monitoring system that allows physicians to see what other doctors may have prescribed to their patients.
The primary issue for those who oppose creating such a system is protecting patient confidentiality. However, most of the 43 states that have prescription drug monitoring programs in place allow only physicians access to the computerized system, not law enforcement officials.
Police departments across the country are brainstorming on ways to stop drug abuse. Good, online alcohol drug classes are always a place to start.