Community leaders are sharing their ongoing and future efforts to fight prescription drug abuse. Their message comes after two powerful public service announcements aired during the Super Bowl.
This is the third year the local chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse aired commercials during the Super Bowl. This year, the organization teamed up with the DEA to focus the ads on the dangers of prescription drugs and the importance of prevention.
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That was the big message at a news conference held at NCADA Monday. Federal, state, and local government leaders were all represented, with many sharing how much progress has recently been made in terms of awareness and treatment.
For example, last year for the first time, first responders in St. Louis County were equipped with NARCAN, an emergency overdose treatment. They were able to save 41 lives.
However, when it comes to prevention, they need your help. They're asking anyone with opioid prescription drugs to keep them out of their medicine cabinet and even out of their home. If you need them, they say to lock them up.
"The ads were powerful reminders that medications can kill,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. “They must be monitored and controlled."
“This is a sickness and yes it's in my backyard because it's a public health issue and yes I cannot do it alone and yes all of us are here and we work together to make this happen,” said Melba Moore, St. Louis Director of Public Health.
The group is also encouraging everyone to ask their state representatives to vote yes on a bill that would introduce a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.