The Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition (JCADC), a county-wide effort to reduce experimenting, drug use, and underage drinking among youth in communities throughout Jackson County and the surrounding areas, has received a donation of safe drug disposal pouches from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI). JCADC is nested in the heart of rural Appalachia and has been leading efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, which has hit Jackson County and surrounding areas particularly hard.
The drug disposal pouches are used to deactivate prescription medicines, a non-traditional and important means for impacting prescription drug misuse during a time of social distancing when many West Virginians cannot leave the home to dispose of unused and unwanted medications, and in a year when other Drug Take Back events have been cancelled.
Longtime Jackson County Delegate and House Insurance Chairman Steve Westfall was most appreciative of the donation of the drug pouches.
“Conversations about prescription drug misuse and resources to combat the problem are necessary to keep our children and communities safe, particularly as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” Delegate Westfall said. “I am glad to see resources being deployed in Jackson County and throughout the state.”
The donation of 10,000 at-home drug disposal pouches for distribution to organizations and individuals throughout West Virginia supports and supplements the ongoing drug disposal efforts of PREVENTION FIRST, a collaborative network of regional agencies that address substance use disorders throughout West Virginia. Funded primarily through the WV Bureau of Behavioral Health, this group of dedicated professionals provides comprehensive prevention messaging to communities across the state, and is integral in uniting coalitions to create positive, long-lasting change.
In addition to the JCADC, local prevention coalitions that received safe disposal pouches include Community Connections, Inc. and other participating agencies within the West Virginia Prevention First Network.
“Distributing these disposal pouches to our coalition members has created the opportunity for parents, guardians, and other leaders to learn more about safe disposal and how they can protect their loved ones. In addition to our permanent drop boxes throughout the county, this donation provides residents with a safe way to dispose of medication right at home,” Project Director, Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition, Amy Haskins said.
Greg Puckett, Executive Director with Community Connections, stated that, “Disposal of these pouches within our communities is critical to not only assisting with safe disposal, but changing the culture and understanding as to why having excess medications is potentially harmful. Our state is at the epicenter of the problems associated with addiction, and this form of education is impactful on an environmental level; both physically and mentally.”
General Arthur T. Dean, Chairman and CEO, CADCA, said, “We are committed to supporting local coalitions in West Virginia as they work to educate youth and community leaders about the dangers of prescription drug misuse, especially during these unprecedented times. CADCA has partnered with RALI since 2018 and has worked on a number of safe disposal initiatives. Our continued impact throughout the state is driven by its over 80 community substance use and misuse prevention coalitions and local champions, including CADCA Board member Greg Puckett and Coalition Advisory Council member Amy Haskins. Together, we continuously work to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities throughout West Virginia.”
CADCA is a nonprofit organization that has been working to create safe, healthy, and drug-free communities across the country since 1992. To learn more about CADCA’s education efforts in West Virginia and across the country, visit cadca.org.
RALI is an alliance of local, state, and national organizations committed to finding solutions to end the opioid epidemic. To learn more about RALI’s work in communities, safe disposal, and to tour the RALI CARES virtual trailer visit raliusa.org.
For additional information, contact the Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition at 304-372-2634.