Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse in Albany County [VIDEO]
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is set for Saturday, Oct. 22 in Albany County, and prevention specialists hope folks will take a little time out of their days to get unwanted, unused or out-of-date prescription drugs out of their medicine cabinets.
Katie Keller with the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming says Albany County alone has seen seven overdoses from opioids and other prescription drugs in the past 18 months.
Her coworker, Rick Hays, says that's due in part to the vast availability of prescription drugs within the county and the state.
"In Wyoming, there were over 150,000 prescriptions written for hydrocodone, oxycontin and tramadol," Hays says. "In Albany County alone, there were over 12,000. We're thinking that people aren't using all of those."
Hays says it's entirely too easy for people who shouldn't have access to these drugs to take them from the medicine cabinets of friends or family.
And sometimes, they go even further.
"Like when there are real estate open houses, people will go through the open house and actually check out the medicine cabinets and steal something that's there," Hays says.
"It's important people are responsible," Hays says. "If they have unused prescription drugs, we hope that they'll drop them off at the lock box."
The lock box is located in the Albany County Detention Center at 420 E. Ivinson in Laramie. Anyone can drop off prescription medications anonymously -- no questions asked.
The lock box has been collecting prescription drugs at a rate of 30-35 pounds per month, according to Hays.
Hays says getting unneeded prescription drugs out of the home can also stem the use of heroin, which drug users often turn to after abusing prescription opioids.