Riverhead CAP and Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth are asking for the community’s help in evaluating its prescription drug abuse prevention initiatives through an online survey.
Residents of Riverhead Town and the Riverhead Central School District are being asked to take a five-minute survey to help the organization better its drug prevention programs, according to a press release from the organization.
“Through our community partnerships we have successfully collected over 5,000 pounds of unused medication over the past 5 years by increasing disposal opportunities,” CAP executive director Felicia Scocozza said in statement. “But we still need input from the public to see [if] people are aware of these opportunities, if they need more or different options for medication safety and disposal, and if they need more information and resources about preventing prescription drug abuse and its relationship to the opioid crisis.”
In 2013, the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth was awarded a five year Drug-Free Communities Support Grant through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to prevent and reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.
The coalition began expanding medication take back opportunities by installing a 24/7 medication drop box in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department and increasing community Medication Take Back events. Currently, the coalition partners with the Riverhead Police Department, PBMC – Northwell Health and the Riverhead Highway Department to hold at least five drive-up take back events per year, which are open to the pubic.
Last year, the coalition and police department began conducting Mobile Medication Take Back Days in the town’s senior citizen communities. These initiatives were supported through a Town of Riverhead recycling grant as well.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, especially among teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription painkillers before starting to use heroin. The CDC also reports that one in five teens say they have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription and each day more than 2,000 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.
The community can submit answers until Aug. 20.
“We hope members of the community will take advantage of this opportunity, which will significantly assist with evaluating past efforts and planning future strategies and initiatives,” Ms. Scocozza said.
Photo courtesy of Riverhead CAP