April 16, 2015 Partnership Meeting


Discussion on prescription drug misuse in this area

While the statistics are low on young people’s misuse of prescription drugs compared to other substances, we want to get ahead of the curve with our prevention efforts.

  • 8% of Leland and Gray High School students said they misused prescription drugs in the past 30 days on the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (that is 28 out of the 350 students or more than 1 in 20)
  • The prevention of all drugs helps with preventing a person from being susceptible to prescription drug misuse because the older a person is when they begin to use substances, the lower the long term effects on the brain.

There are no more Drug Take Back Days sponsored through the DEA – the new slogan is “Every Day is Drug Take Back Day!”  The Sheriff’s Department in Newfane is the closest drop box – open 24/7

  • There is an issue now with the cost and coordination of disposing of the drugs that are collected in the drop boxes. The Sheriff is working with his counter parts in the state to determine how to move forward.  They are investigating the possibility of building an incinerator in VT and encouraging doctors and pharmacists to register to be take back sites.

Early last year WRVthrives had a successful meeting with Grace Cottage doctors regarding this issue.  Robin reported how impressed she was with their attention, questions, and interest in learning what they could change to help the issue.  Since then, the prescribing rules in the ER have changed.  The doctors have developed new policies and begun to prescribe much smaller doses of medications.  They have also been using the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System (VPMS) to track patients on these controlled substances.

  • There is a training for doctors and pharmacists at Grace Cottage May 14th – Avoiding Pitfalls of Prescribing Controlled Substances: Knowing how to assess, monitor and refer patients of controlled substances
  • If someone is on Suboxone it will be tracked in VPMS, but not if they are on methadone.

Those at the meeting discussed the current issue of people in our community that are addicted to prescription drugs.  It is a real issue and there are known dealers and people who sell their own children’s medications.  It is devastating when someone becomes addicted – it can ruin a person’s life and it is very hard for people to recover.  Often times it takes getting arrested and going in and out of rehab a number of times.  Prescribing Suboxone is not helpful in and of itself – people abuse that too.  Those in recovery need to be closely monitored and held accountable.  It is hard for people to stay sober because of the physical need for the drugs and the fact that dealers will seek people out even when they are in recovery.

  • Families have to learn tough love. It is important for family members to have support.  There is a Nar-Anon meeting at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital every Tuesday at 7pm.  It would be great if there was a meeting in this area.  It takes a committed few people to hold the meeting consistently.

Next Steps

  • Disseminate prevention materials that educate about prescription drug safe storage and disposal
    • WRVthrives has brochures and rack cards that explain the reasons to lock up medications and dispose of them properly, as well as information on where to dispose of them. Those in attendance at took materials to disseminate.
  • Contact local veterinarians and dentists with information on this issue.
  • Contact town offices about putting up signs at the dumps and recycle centers that direct people to dispose of their prescription drugs at the drop box at the Sheriff’s Department.
  • Create a Nar-Anon meeting in the WRV area – It was suggested that the churches be contacted to see if they would host the meetings.  Pat will contact Susan Avery who started the group in Brattleboro, which has now split off into a group in Keene and Greenfield as well.

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