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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

JPD bringing awareness to opioid abuse through National Prevention Week

JONESBORO, Ark- Since 1999 the number of drug overdoses in America has quadrupled, according to the CDC.

One police department is hoping to help change that static.

The Jonesboro Police Department is participating in National Prevention Week.

The yearly event is hosts by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

JPD says it’s important to talk openly with your children about the dangers of substance abuse.

“It’s easy for them to get caught up in the hype of ‘yeah no take this or try this for you to not have to think about this hurt or this pain.' So, starting that conversation and, it most definitely starts at home. And not being afraid to have that conversation with your kids,” says Sossity Lewis, comprehensive opioid abuse coordinator at JPD.

National Prevention Weeks' goal is to bring organizations and the public together to talk openly about opioid and pain killer abuse.

While also hoping to lower the stigma surrounding the topic.

Opioid abuse, overdoses, and deaths are on the rise.

The CDC recording the largest increase in overdose death over twelve months in 2020.

JPD hopes resources like Deterra will help change that statistic.

“We were provided the opportunity to get a system called Deterra. It’s an at-home system that deactivates prescription drugs. Just put your unused prescription drugs, patches, liquids in there, add water shake it up, and throw it in the garbage,” says Lewis.

With summer right around the corner children, will be at home more often.

Lewis wants to remind parents and guardians of the importance of properly handling medications.

“It’s just really a matter of parents, grandparents or, caregivers being proactive in ya know,” she says. “Properly disposing [of] their unused pain killers or prescription drugs and opioids. Don’t leave anything like that out in the open for a child to get ahold of.”

If you have old or unused medications, you can dispose of them outside JPD in the prescription drop-off box.

Lewis says they will be giving out the Deterra packets at Springfest on Saturday in downtown Jonesboro.


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