Thursday, March 24, 2016

Seattle City Council committee adopts resolution supporting medicine return program

As part of a multi-pronged strategy for preventing prescription drug abuse, the Prevention WINS coalition, in collaboration with other drug prevention and environmental organizations, advocated for the King County Board of Health to adopt a secure medicine return program in 2013. The policy was adopted and this spring the medicine return program is expected to be implemented in pharmacies county-wide with pharmaceutical companies paying for it.

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council's public safety committee adopted a resolution supporting the medicine return program and encouraging pharmacies and police precincts to participate.

A RESOLUTION expressing the City’s support for an effective, countywide safe prescription drug disposal program, including controlled substances, and requesting local pharmacies and the Seattle Police Department to install drug disposal drop-boxes across the City.
 WHEREAS, in June 2015, the University of Washington (UW) Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute reported that drug-caused deaths involving heroin and/or methamphetamine peaked in King County in 2014, including a 58 percent increase in heroin deaths; and
WHEREAS, a 2013 study by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicated that four out of five recent heroin users previously used opioid pain relievers such as oxycodone; and
WHEREAS, research suggests that these individuals switched to heroin because it is less expensive in the illegal marketplace than opioid pain relievers; and
WHEREAS, one component of a comprehensive public health approach to addressing drug abuse is the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances; and
WHEREAS, safe disposal of unused prescription drugs, especially opioid pain relievers, reduces the risk of nonmedical use that might lead to drug abuse, including heroin addiction; and
WHEREAS, adolescents and young adults who experiment with nonmedical use of opioid pain relievers are most likely to obtain them from friends and family members who had received a prescription; and
WHEREAS, improper disposal of prescription drugs, including controlled substances, contributes to environmental degradation, as documented in a recent study that found traces of numerous prescription drugs in Puget Sound waters, as described in a 2016 article in the journal Environmental Pollution; and
WHEREAS, President Obama recently announced a number of new actions to address opioid abuse and proposed spending $1.1 billion in his FY 2017 budget for this purpose; and
WHEREAS, many pharmacies in the Seattle area have offered drug disposal drop-boxes for unused vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, and some prescription drugs; and
WHEREAS, per an October 2014 U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency rule, police departments and pharmacies may now provide safe disposal boxes for controlled substances like OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, and Ritalin; and
WHEREAS, a growing number of police departments in King County are offering safe disposal of controlled substances, including Auburn, Bothell, Burien, Issaquah, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, and Woodinville; and
WHEREAS, King County has launched a new effort to enhance safe prescription drug disposal efforts and a stewardship organization retained by King County will be providing funding for installation of drop-boxes, staff training, and collection of the drugs; NOW, THEREFORE,
Section 1. The City Council and the Mayor ask that local pharmacies partner with King County to provide safe drug disposal drop-boxes at locations across the City.
Section 2. The City Council and the Mayor likewise request the Seattle Police Department to install prescription drug disposal drop-boxes at each of its five precincts.
Section 3. The City Council and the Mayor ask that other appropriate City agencies like the Department of Neighborhoods, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the Office for Civil Rights offer assistance to King County to help ensure that the County’s drop-box disposal program is designed to be culturally appropriate and accessible for marginalized populations, including limited English speakers.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Baked goods & desserts top the list of approved marijuana-infused products in WA

Of the marijuana-infused products approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Board, who are to reject products that are especially appealing to children, baked goods and desserts make up most (68%) of the market according to the recently released Washington State Marijuana Impact Report.

Baked goods include cookies, brownies, scones, biscotti, muffins, and bread. Desserts include chocolate, caramels, truffles, brittle, fudge, and mints. The February edition of the Marijuana News Bulletin included a picture of a baked good called UHi?

Other marijuana-infused products listed include sugar packets, milk chocolate malted balls, and root beer hard candy.

Meanwhile, the Washington State Poison Center reports an increase in marijuana-related calls to their helpline. The Center takes calls from throughout the state that range from accidental exposures/ingestions to potential overdoses involving an array of substances. Among those substances is marijuana and among people exposed to marijuana, 45% were youth in 2014.

Since 2012, Poison Center calls related to marijuana-infused products have significantly increased.

Friday, March 4, 2016

What can parents do to prevent teen drug use?

Over at Seattle Children's Teenology 101 blog, Dr. Yolanda Evans announced a free upcoming parent education night about how to prevent teen substance use:

Date: March 24, 2016

Location: Wright Auditorium in Seattle Children’s Hospital
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Time: 6:30pm -8:30pm

Panel Participants: 
Lisa Chinn, Mental Health & Chemical Dependency professional
Dr. Leslie Walker, Chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
Dr. Suzan Mazor, Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Toxicology
Rachel & Joseph, parents of a college sophomore
Jon Huber, Seattle Police Department Impaired Driving Coordinator/Trainer

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Coalition meets March 8

Prevention WINS General Coalition Meeting 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 
Roosevelt High School – 15th Ave NE & 66th Street - Room #108 
Sign in at the main office


  1. Welcome and review of agenda

  1. Introductions

  1. Roosevelt High School snapshot

  1. Roosevelt High School Health Advisory Council student presentation

  1. View from Sweden – Patrick Widell, Detective Superintendent
  2. Presentation: Impacts of Legal Marijuana on Our Public Health-What we know now
  3. Washington Poison Center - Train the Trainers update

  1. DFC business
    1. Action Plan Year 6 Committees and Workgroups update
    2. YMPEP update
    3. DFCMe semi-annual reporting
    4. Washington Department of Health Marijuana update – May 3rd
    5. Budget update

  1. Community Education Committee report

  1.  CBS affiliate KSTW Community Partnership with Prevention WINS   
  1.  Sharing & Announcement: Prevention WINS & Children’s Preventing Teen Drug Use parent panel – March 24, 2016

Prevention WINS meeting are open to all who are interested in preventing teen drug use!