MOUNT GILEAD — Reduction was a theme during the annual meeting of the Drug & Alcohol Awareness & Prevention of Morrow County coalition on June 20.
“We’re lowering underage drinking and misuse and abuse of medication in Morrow County,” Ashley Hisey-Buchanan, DAAP coordinator, told the group of 25 agency, law enforcement and other representatives at the Community Services Building.
Lt. Gurjit Grewal, Commander of the Mount Gilead Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, saw a positive result this spring.
“It was pretty successful as we educated parents about hosting parties with alcohol. We’ve not seen any (negative) consequences,” he said.
Grewal said stickers, a billboard on State Route 95 and sign boards posted near high school graduations all contributed to the Parents Who Host, Lost the Most awareness program.
“We have to stress our message to teens,” Hisey-Buchanan said.
Law enforcement also worked with local businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco products, sharing information through the Sober Truth program.
Alyce Jennings, project manager for Ohio’s SafeRx Collaborative, demonstrated the Deterra drug pouches, used to dispose of unwanted medicine.
“Cleaning out old, unused medicine from your home is the primary defense in preventing drug misuse,” Jennings said.
She said pharmacies, faith communities, schools, law enforcement, libraries and hospitals can partner in obtaining the pouches. “Even Farm Bureaus can help in this,” she added.
Deterra drug pouches are an easy way to deactivate and dispose of unwanted prescription medicine in an environmentally safe container.
Fifty-two percent of Morrow County residents improperly disposed of unused prescription drugs.
“Every small thing you do has an impact in the community,” Jennings said.
Deanna Brant, Executive Director of the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, said the DAAP coalition has made a difference.
“You are active, productive and effective,” she said.
Brant said local agencies work on “the front end of the continuum in counseling and prevention in every school district.”
Contact Hisey-Buchanan at 419-946-2009, ext. 661, to find out more about DAAP.