News: Camp Lejeune hosts annual Drug Take-Back event
Story by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted a Drug Take-Back event at the Marine Corps Exchange aboard the base, recently.
Approximately 77.5 pounds of unused and expired prescription drugs were collected from the event. The event coincided with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which solidifies the importance of the event on a larger gamut.
“It’s an annual national event, but (MCB) Camp Lejeune tries to do it quarterly,” said Lt. Jamie R. Beever, a pharmacist with Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. “The purpose is to prevent any diversion of medications that are unused to help prevent misuse and abuse by people who are not supposed to be using them.”
An example of improper use is teenagers using medications at “pill parties,” consuming substances that could harm them or even kill them, said Beever.
According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, every day, 2,500 young people ages 12 to 17 try a painkiller for the first time and teens abuse prescription drugs more than any illicit street drug except marijuana.
“The more this medicine is out there sitting around, the more likely somebody is to take it and use it in a way that’s not prescribed,” said Capt. Tony Boze, a service officer for the Provost Marshal’s Office, MCB Camp Lejeune.
The abuse of medication is a reason why collections are held, but it is also a way of keeping these harmful substances from leaking into waters systems and the environment.
“Tests have shown that minute amounts have gotten in the water supply,” said Beever. “A solution to this problem would be to incinerate them.”
Substances such as antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million American facilitating locations, according to an Associated Press investigation.
“We found that drugs and other medicines have been flushed down the toilet and thrown in the trash,” said Boze. “This event helps us keep people from doing those kinds of things because we don’t want to do more damage to the water supply or the environment.”
The collected drugs were weighed at PMO and sent to the Drug Enforcement Agency office in Wilmington. The event helped to reduce the possibility of drug abuse and environmental contamination.
For more information on drug take-back events or questions about medicine disposal, call 450-3064 or e-mail Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on prescription drugs, which include instructions of disposing medications, visit www.dea.gov, www.whitehousedrugpolicy.govor www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com.