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Opioid Crisis A Growing Problem; Finney County is Fighting Back

I don’t know about you, but it seems that every family I know has been affected by drug abuse in some way. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who doesn’t have a son or a sister or a parent addicted to drugs.

“In Finney County, nearly half of our population is prescribed Schedule II-IV opioids.”

When some of you think of drugs, you may think heroin, cocaine, ecstasy – you know, the ‘hard stuff’. What some people may not realize is that many prescription drugs, provided by doctors, also have a high potential for abuse and can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence on the substance. These are Schedule II drugs, second in nature only to the ‘hard stuff’ (those Schedule I drugs, like heroin).



In Finney County, nearly half of our population is prescribed Schedule II-IV opioids. Examples of these narcotics include methadone, morphine, oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, opium, and yes, even fentanyl. Ever heard of Dilaudid, Demerol, OxyContin, Vicoden, or Percocet?

"Over 80% of drug overdose victims began their habit by misusing leftover prescription pills they obtained from friends or family members."

In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S., and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in every five of those deaths was opioid-related. Although many fatal overdoses are linked to illegal heroin and fentanyl, the study found that over 80% of the victims began their drug habits by misusing prescription opioids. Many of these victims are young adults that never even had the prescription to begin with – they obtained leftover or unused pills from friends or family members.


“In 2017, more than 300 Kansans died from a drug overdose.”

We know this is a growing problem, and has been for many years already. So what do we do about it? Finney County is partnering with the LiveWell Finney County Health Coalition, St. Catherine Hospital, USD 457, Compass Behavioral Health, and Genesis Family Health Center to lead the fight at home against the opioid epidemic.

“1 in every 5 drug overdose deaths is opioid-related.”

As a part of this Opioid Response Task Force, our mission is to bring awareness to the growing crisis, provide information and resources to those seeking help, and give our community opportunities to get involved in the fight through events like National Drug Take Back Day.


"Join us on Saturday, April 27 as we fight back on behalf of our families, our citizens, and our community."


On April 27, 2019, Finney County and the Task Force will host two locations in Garden City where you can bring your unused, leftover prescription drugs to be disposed of safely, legally, and responsibly.



The event will take place from 10am – 2pm on that Saturday in two locations in Garden City: at the Garden City EMS Station, located at 803 W. Mary St., and the KBUF Radio Station at 1402 E Kansas Ave., Garden City.


We’ll also be giving a small incentive to those who bring their leftover prescription pills for disposal.


Join us on Saturday, April 27 as we fight back on behalf of our families, our citizens, and our community.


Sources:

Kansas Board of Pharmacy, Kansas Tracking and Reporting of Controlled Substances (KTRACS); http://www.kdheks.gov/idp/pdomp.htm?fbclid=IwAR35gNj1lXs_qIKvHhSIx1PDtjjhHO51T15iffgA0s7ir0aKD409_JOSTxU

U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration; https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/

American Addiction Centers; https://americanaddictioncenters.org/opiates/controlled-substances

National Institute on Drug Abuse; https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/relationship-between-prescription-drug-heroin-abuse/prescription-opioid-use-risk-factor-heroin-use

Journal of American Medical Association; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2682878

LiveWell Finney County Health Coalition; https://www.facebook.com/pg/LiveWellFinneyCounty/posts/

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