The 2nd Annual “Drop the Drugs” Day will be taking place on June 16, 2012. The event will be held in two separate locations: The DeFuniak Springs Police will be at the DeFuniak Springs Wal-Mart from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be at the Santa Rosa Beach Wal-Mart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is geared towards educating the public about the dangers of prescription medication and how the community can help in the fight against misuse of prescription medication.
Citizens are encouraged to stop by one of the sites and drop off any unused or old prescription medication. The medicine will then be destroyed and out of the reach of the wrong hands.
Statistics show that the misuse of prescription medication has been a problem for Walton County. According to the 2010 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey, 17.3% of students age 15-17 in Walton County have used prescription pain relievers compared to 9.7% statewide. The Department of Children and Families said between 2009-2011 there was an average of 27.1 child mistreatments each month in the 1st circuit (which includes Walton County) each month suspected to include substance misuse. Even in death, prescription medications are showing up more and more. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Medical Examiners Commission said between January 2009 and June 2010, Benzodiazepines and muscle relaxants were frequently linked to overdose deaths and medical emergencies across Florida. The Center for Disease Control said in 2008 drug overdose deaths were second only to car crashes for unintentional deaths.
The event is being sponsored by the Substance Misuse Taskforce, which is made up of local agencies to include: DeFuniak Springs Police, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Children and Families, Families First Network, Walton County Corrections, COPE center, Walton County Head Start, Walton County Prevention Coalition, and the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. The taskforce is trying to discover ways to help educate the community and the largest events so far have been through Champion of Choices, a non-profit organization founded by Marc Mero, a professional wrestler, and Drop the Drugs Day.
“It’s our job to do our part in keeping these dangerous drugs from ending up in the wrong hands” Chief Mark A. Weeks said.
Lieutenant Tilman Mears
Special Operations Division Commander