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Public Forum: Should King County Start Its Own Medicine Take Back Program?

The Issaquah Community Network and Drug Free Community Coalition are hosting a forum on the topic Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Issaquah Police Station.

The Issaquah Community Network and Drug Free Community Coalition invite the public to participate in a forum, “Should King County Start Its Own Medicine Take Back Program?” on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the Issaquah Police Station Eagle Room, 130 East Sunset Way in Issaquah.

Forum speakers include Margaret Shield, a leader in Washington State’s Take-Back Coalition and King County Hazardous Waste staff member, Kenmore Mayor David Baker and Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger.  Baker and Frisinger are both members of the King County Board of Health, which is considering the establishment of a county-wide medicine take-back program.

“In Washington State, about 18,000 people a year access emergency care due to prescription drug overdoses,” said Judy Brewer, chair of the Issaquah Community Network.  “These statistics include young people in the Issaquah School District area.  The Community Network supports all efforts to reduce prescription drug addiction among community youth.  We hope this forum will highlight a critical public health issue and that attendees will be encouraged to seek solutions.”

In a public letter dated October 1, 2012 King County Board of Health Chair Joe McDermott cited the following statistics as the rationale for considering a county-wide take-back program:

“Misuse and preventable poisonings from household medicines are the fastest growing cause of addiction and overdose deaths in our communities:

  • More people die from prescription medicines than from all illegal drugs combined;
  • Most abusers of prescription drugs get the pills from a friend or relative’s medicine cabinet;
  • Prescription medicines are the drug of choice among 12 and 13-year olds;
  • Preventable poisonings from medicines have also been rising rapidly, especially among kids and seniors; and
  • 32% of child poisoning deaths in Washington were caused by someone else’s prescription medication and 26% were caused by over-the-counter medications.

 The King County Board of Health may hold public hearings on this subject in 2013.  Members of Issaquah area communities can get a preview of the issues involved in preventing prescription drug abuse by attending this important forum.

Additional information about prescription drug abuse and possible solutions can be found at the following websites:

King County Board of Health:  http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/BOH.aspx

Washington State Take Back Your Meds Coalition website: http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/

--Information from the Issaquah Community Network

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