In Marin County, overdoses continue to be the leading cause of accidental death, and opioid overdose rates are 14 percent higher than they were last year, according the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. In hopes of raising awareness, Marin County’s Board of Supervisors deemed October as Prescription Drug Take Back Month on September 21.
Prescription medication take-back rates dropped 15 percent in 2020, potentially due to the pandemic, but overdose awareness groups like Marin’s Angel Moms want to see the numbers change.
Marion Kregeloh, a Marin mother who lost her son to fentanyl posioning, said:
“I urge all parents to empty out their medicine cabinets and safely lock up their needed prescriptions. … Don’t invite drug-seeking behaviors. And, invite a conversation. Kids need to know that drugs have their place for medically prescribed conditions but can be dangerous for kids and teens. Let’s begin to shift our culture one family at a time.”
Doctors like HHS’ Dr. Jeff DeVido say this spike in overdoses may come from the added stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. Readily available old or unused medications in homes increase the chances of people abusing prescriptions.
DeVido stated in a press release:
“We can help eliminate tragic loss of lives through the disposal of unneeded and unused drugs. … I say it every year because it remains true: Safe disposal saves lives.”
Marin pharmacies and law enforcement sites have year-round drug drop-off facilities, free and anonymous for residents to dispose of their unused or expired medications. The 30 locations throughout the county can be found at the RxSafe Marin website, https://rxsafemarin.org/safe-storage-disposal/.