Das Williams Hosts Prescription Drug Abuse Workshop
Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) hosted a workshop on prescription drug abuse in Ventura on Saturday April 5th from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. The workshop focused on the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, prevention, and services available to people caught cycle of abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse is ‘the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes.’ After Cannabis, prescription drugs and Over-the-Counter medications are the second most abused drugs for 12th graders, nationwide.
“Prescription Drug abuse is a serious threat – not just to our seniors, but to the youth of Ventura County,” Assemblymember Williams said. “People may not understand that prescription drugs can be just as harmful and addictive as Heroin and other drugs if they are used improperly.” Approximately one in four teens are reported to misuse or abuse prescription drugs once in their lifetime, and one-third of teens believe it is okay for them to use other people’s prescribed drugs for pain.
Common misconceptions were addressed at the workshop where the community had a chance to ask questions and get information on prescription drug abuse. “Drug overdose is a leading cause of accidental death in the United States,” Dr. Angelo Salvucci stated. “It has been an increasing trend that needs to be tended to.”
Many attendees brought unwanted prescription drugs to the event, for proper disposal. Because unused prescription drugs that are left around the home are the number one source for abuse and misuse, there are a variety of drop-off locations throughout Ventura County.
“By providing our community with a proper and safe disposal sites we can reduce the supply of prescription drugs for abuse and help keep these powerful agents out of the hands of young people,” says Patrick Zarate, Division Manager of Ventura County Alcohol and Drug Programs. “Thus far, with help from a variety of agencies, we have responsibly disposed of over 7 tons of unwanted drugs here in Ventura County.”
The event featured Dr. Angelo Salvucci and Ventura County Behavioral Health as well as informational tables with community organizations and service providers.