Opioid Epedemic

As the leading law enforcement officer in your county, I want to take a few moments and share some information with you all, especially parents, in regards to Opioids.

America is in the midst of an opioid-abuse epidemic, which has caused a startling rise in overdoses and deaths from these highly addictive drugs.

Since 1999, the number of people who have died from overdoses of either prescription opioids or heroin has nearly quadrupled in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, more than 28,000 people died from overdosing on opioids. At least half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid, the CDC says.

Drug overdoses now kill more people in the United States than car crashes. In 2013, 46,471 people died from drug overdoses, compared with 35,369 people who died in car accidents, according to a 2015 report from the Drug Enforcement Administration.  In 2016, over 58,000 deaths were related to opioid overdoses. 

Many new heroin users actually started by misusing prescription opioids. About 80 percent of people in the United States who recently started using heroin report that they previously took opioid pain relievers for nonmedical reasons, according to a 2013 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

With this said, my staff is combating this epidemic the best they can, but they can’t do it alone.  I am requesting the help of our community.  Parents with young kids.  Start the discussion early. Talk to your kids.  Know who they hang out with and what they do.  Pay attention to swings in behavior, etc.
Nearly 73 percent of parents surveyed by Johns Hopkins researchers acknowledged kids are at a greater risk of overdose from prescription opioids than adults, but only 13 percent said they worry about their kids accessing and abusing their prescription pills.  Even more alarming, parents of older children said they are less worried than parents of younger children, despite the fact many opioid addictions start when teens experiment with pain pills in high school.

My department is equipped to collect and to properly dispose of any type of medication that may be expired or no longer used.  Please call my department to learn more about what can be dropped off during business hours or click here for general info we've posted.

I’ve included some links below that I strongly encourage you all to view.

This issue is not soley a law enforcement issue, it’s a community issue and we will have to combat it as such.

More detailed information on opioid drug abuse can be found here in this NIA report.

Sheriff Tracy L Carter

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