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IU’s Indiana Prevention Resource Center to Enhance Alcohol and Drug Screening as Preventive Care – July 16th, 2014

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The Indiana University School of Public Health and the Indiana Prevention Resource Center is making it easier for patients to talk about their drug and alcohol use through a program called SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral). Mallory DeSalle helps explain what SBIRT does and how it will help Hoosiers in finding appropriate treatment for their drug or alcohol use.

Story by Harrison Wagner

Indiana Board of Pharmacy Bans Synthetic Drug Compounds

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The Indiana Board of Pharmacy has banned four compounds that are used to make the synthetic drugs K2 and spice. The board is working closely with Indiana State Police to pass emergency rules to battle the ever-changing chemical formulas.

These synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous because the majority of users are youth that may think these are natural substances. K2 and spice are synthetic forms of with highly unpredictable effects. Communications Director for the Indiana Board of Pharmacy Nick Goodwin reflects on the dangers of these synthetic drugs.

“The dangers are widely documented,” Goodwin says, “Recently, 4 kids from Columbus, IN were hospitalized and were on synthetic drugs.”

Goodwin says there are misconceptions to the legality and safety of these kinds of synthetic drugs.

Reported effects of synthetic cannabinoids include increased heart rate, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, and chest pain. No official studies have been conducted, but data show that 11,000 people ended up in the emergency room in 2012 from smoking these substances.

Goodwin says this emergency rule will go into effect next Friday.

Once this rule is in effect, Indiana State Police will begin to prosecute providers of these synthetic drugs if the banned compounds show up in the lab tests of their products.

Bloomington Police Collect Unwanted Prescription Drugs

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The Bloomington Police Department will be participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, October 26th. Department personnel will collect old, unwanted, and unused prescription drugs to be safely disposed.

Joe Qualters, captain of the Department’s Detective Division, says this is a bi-annual event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The goal is to get all those unneeded and unwanted prescriptions out of the home to avoid the possibility of abuse or theft,” Qualters says, “Many times it’s difficult to find a place to dispose of these types of drugs and this provides an initiative to provide a collection point for those drugs.”

“I think it’s important to know that since the DEA has intitiated this, they have collected over 2.8 billion pounds of drugs,” Qualters says, “We in Bloomington have participated three times before and we’ve collected over 500 pounds of prescription drugs for disposal.”

The event will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The collection site will be set up on South Lincoln Street, on the east side of the Bloomington Police Department.

New “Bitter Pill” Government Website Aims To Educate Hoosiers On Prescription Drug Abuse

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Indiana now has a one-stop site for information on prescription drug abuse.

The misuse of prescribed medications has reached epidemic proportions, according to the state Department of Health.

With more Hoosiers looking for information about signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse or hoping to find out where they or their loved ones can go for help, Attorney General Greg Zoeller this week announced the kickoff of the state’s new Bitter Pill website.

The National Institutes of Health says more people in the United States misuse prescription drugs than indulge in cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined.

Joan Duwve, chief medical officer of the Indiana Department of Health says at least one in five Hoosier teens have abused prescription medications.

Many teens feel using prescription meds recreationally is safer than buying drugs off the street. Duwve says this simply isn’t true. Some 718 people died from prescription drug abuse and misuse in Indiana in 2011, the last year for which statistics are available.

“What is perceived as a ‘safe’ high too often turns out to be deadly,” Duwve says.

The Bitter Pill website offers information on five key features of prescription drug abuse: knowing the dangers, recognizing the signs and symptoms, proper prescription disposal, treatment resources, and reporting illegal use of the drugs

The Indiana Attorney General since January, 2012, has prosecuted at least 15 doctors who’ve prescribed addictive painkillers outside of medically appropriate usage.

The web address for the new website online at www.bitterpill.in.gov.

 

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