According to information provided by the Bear River Heath Department, Utah currently leads the nation in prescription drug abuse and, in 2007, unintentional prescription drug overdose was the number one cause of accidental deaths in the state, outnumbering car crashes.
Utah State University’s Student Health Services is dedicated to reducing these statistics by keeping the community informed about ways to safely utilize medications.
A Prescription Drug Awareness Billboard will be displayed adjacent to the Stevenson Ballroom of the Taggart Student Center March 26-30, providing information on the common myths, unique facts and interesting stories of prescription drug abuse and misuse. Details about the on-campus prescription drug disposal site will also be available.
Medical evidence shows misuse of prescription drugs can cause nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, respiratory failure, anxiety, aggression, seizures, brain damage and ultimately death. A number of indicators of increased risk for developing these symptoms include sharing prescriptions with others, experimenting with prescriptions recreationally, taking more pills than prescribed and mixing prescription drug usage with alcohol or other drugs.
With the help of the Northern Utah Substance Abuse Prevention Team, Utah State University is the first university in Utah to provide a Prescription Drug Drop-Box available to campus and the community at large. The new disposal site is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and is located in the lobby of the USU Police Department at 850 E. 1250 North.
Students are encouraged to take their unused prescription drugs to that location, where the contents will be emptied regularly and sent to an incinerator. The process allows the pills to be safely and properly disposed. Expired, unused or unwanted medications can also be dropped off, for a limited time, at the booth location at the TSC display areas and USU Student Health Services will deliver them to the disposal site.
According to the Bear River Health Department, 2,500 youth between the ages of 12 and 17 abuse pain relievers every day. More than half of people who abuse painkillers get the drugs from friends or relatives.
The USU Student Health and Wellness Center offers programs and resources for those struggling with drug and alcohol related problems. For more information, visit the center’s website.
Contact: Ryan V. Barfuss, prevention specialist, 435-797-1540, Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Erika Rasmussen, 801-349-7719, email@example.com