Police, sheriffs and firefighters across Jefferson County deserve our thanks and praise for a job well done. This past Saturday they and local communities again spearheaded National Take-Back Day (NTB), sponsored by the Federal Drug Administration, which allows citizens to come to local law enforcement locations and dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs.
Last year's Take-Back day broke a record, collecting 447 tons (almost 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs. As we are all hopefully aware by now, drug abuse problems are not only about the heroin in the streets, but the medicine in our cabinets. NTB proves that government programs, when properly coordinated and executed, can provide extraordinary value to our communities.
Colorado' efforts are coordinated through the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (www.corxconsortium.org). The Consortium is a broad-based group of stakeholders with specific objectives for combating prescription drug abuse. Formed in 2016 by Governor Hickenlooper, the Consortium promotes Safe Use, Safe Storage and Safe Disposal as the chief means of attacking the problem.
Among the many groups supporting these efforts is the pharmaceutical industry itself. The scope of the problem and the millions of lives affected by this epidemic means all of us must do our part. Both the national organization PhRMA and its member companies sponsor programs, provide data and give financial support to participate in stemming the rising tide of prescription abuse.
Like with smoking and other public health issues, the scourge of prescription drug abuse can be overcome. We owe yet another debt of gratitude to our local law enforcement brothers and sisters for taking up the cause and appreciate the efforts of all of those involved.