In Nevada, nearly one out of five high school students have reported getting high on a prescription drug not prescribed to them. To curb this abuse, Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports on a local organization trying to dispose of unused or excess medication.
Jennifer DeLett-Snyder heads up Join Together Northern Nevada, a coalition focused on curbing substance abuse. Several years ago, the group started a drug round up program.
“Most people don’t realize that the people who are abusing drugs, and are potentially addicted to these drugs, are not getting them legitimately,” DeLett-Snyder says, “so they may be getting them from friends’ and families’ medicine cabinets.”
DeLett-Snyder says the group has collected almost 2 million pills over the years, about 10 percent of which are narcotics. Abuse is especially prevalent among Washoe County young adults.
“It’s bigger than the rest of the state,” DeLett-Snyder explains, “we have more students here in high school who are saying that they have taken a prescription drug without a prescription in order to get high.”
The Prescription Drug Round Up program has two collection days, one in the spring and the other in fall. But unused meds can be dropped off year-round at law enforcement agencies in Washoe—no questions asked.
This program will likely receive more attention at a statewide drug summit in August.