Monica Meeks, program coordinator for Lee’s Summit CARES, said the organization’s front line stance on drug and alcohol use by youth in Lee’s Summit has allowed it to gain insight on a number of issues addressing teens.
One such matter is the rise of prescription drug use and abuse.
Lee’s Summit CARES will join the Lee’s Summit Police Department, the Lee’s Summit Water Department and the local branch of the DEA to host a Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at seven Lee’s Summit locations.
The public can dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications in original packaging at no cost.
Meeks said Lee’s Summit residents may be surprised that prescription drug abuse among Lee’s Summit teens has been reported for several years and often times unused, expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are the culprit.
“Community education and events such as Drug Take-Back Day help residents remove the supply of medications that are accessible to teens,” Meeks said.
Since 2010, Lee’s Summit residents have properly disposed of more than 4,700 pounds of medication, Meeks said. She added in 2013, Lee’s Summit ranked second in Missouri by weight of medications turned in and disposed of by the DEA.
“We attribute this to the outreach efforts,” Meeks said.
Two of the seven Lee’s Summit locations will offer drive-through drop off options so residents don’t have to leave their vehicle. These will be offered at St. Luke’s Hospital, 100 NE St. Luke’s Blvd. (Diagnostic Center/Medical Office Building entrance), and Lee’s Summit Medical Center, 2100 SE Blue Parkway (Main Entrance Lobby).
According to the CDC, medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning. Forty-nine percent of teens who misuse prescription medications get them from a family member or friend, often from home medicine cabinets, according to a 2012 national study by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation.
The study reported that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime – a 33 percent increase from 2008 to 2012.
Meeks said the organization partners with 50 community agencies to address drug use and other situations that affect teens.
“Our programs focus on reducing youth access to alcohol and drugs, while also supporting youth with positive activities…that help our students connect to their families, schools and the community,” she said.
Representatives from the Lee’s Summit Police Department will be on hand to accept medication at the following Lee’s Summit locations:
Hy-Vee West – 310 SW Ward Road
Hy-Vee East – 301 NE Rice Road
Price Chopper North – 937 NE Woods Chapel Road
Price Chopper South – 251 SW Greenwich Drive
John Knox Village – 1001 NW Chipman Road (Places Restaurant - Plaza Room)
St. Luke’s Hospital – 100 NE St. Luke’s Blvd. (Diagnostic Center/Medical Office Building entrance)
Lee’s Summit Medical Center – 2100 SE Blue Parkway (Main Entrance Lobby)
Visit LScares.org for more informayion on Drug Take-Back Day