This nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. In recognition of this growing crisis, RSVP of Central Kansas Senior Corps volunteers will be distributing 97 drug disposal packets to home-bound seniors on Friday as part of the national drug take back day on Saturday.
Through a grant from the AmeriSource Bergen Foundation the RSVP of Central Kansas received 2,000 DisposeRX packets that when added into a prescription bottle, old pills and water it gels into a deactivated and disposable product.
“Many of our community seniors do not have the ability to participate in a drug take back day,” said Linn Hogg, RSVP of Central Kansas director. “By taking the product directly to our seniors our volunteers have the chance to educate about the opioid crisis, go over the directions for disposal and help clear out some of the old and unused prescription medication.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal entity covering the RSVP of Central Kansas Senior Corps program, has partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to support National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to help Americans safely dispose of unwanted prescription medications.
Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Barton County Sheriff’s Office will join the Barton County Health Department and the DEA in this effort as well. Representatives will be on the east side of the Barton County Courthouse on Kansas Street in Great Bend to accept unused prescription and nonprescription medications.
National service is a flexible, cost-effective strategy to address local community needs, Hogg said. Organizations working to combat the opioid crisis are using AmeriCorps and Senior Corps resources through a variety of program models to expand the reach and impact of substance education, prevention, and recovery efforts.
More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids — a two-fold increase in a decade. This growing crisis is causing devastating effects on families, workplaces, the health care system, and communities, she said.
In the coming year, the RSVP of Central Kansas volunteers plan to educate seniors and other community members about the opioid crisis as well as distributing 2000 DisposeRX packets. Hogg noted they are always looking for new volunteers to help in programs such as these.
“If helping to educate others about this crisis speaks to your heart, please call us at 620-792-1614 to see how you can join our volunteer team in addressing this very serious problem,” she said.