Thu, Jan. 23

Dump the Drugs Day set Sept. 25

A "Dump the Drugs" event will be held on September 25th in Sedona and Cottonwood. The event gives community members a chance to safely dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication. MATForce, the Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition, is sponsoring "Dump the Drugs" to help keep potentially dangerous drugs out of the hands of our teens and out of our waters.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can be dropped off between at two locations: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sedona Police Department, 100 Roadrunner Drive in Sedona and from 9 a.m. to noon Verde River Days, Dead Horse State Park, 657 Dead Horse Ranch Road in Cottonwood.

Parents and caregivers are often unaware that teens may be abusing prescription medications. Yet, the 2008 Arizona Youth Survey shows prescription pain medication has been abused by one out of every three Yavapai County 12th grade students. News reports from Yavapai County and nationwide attest to an alarming increase in abuse of prescription pain medication. Nationwide, the DEA reports that accidental poisonings and overdoses have greatly increased due to these types of drugs.

"The numbers are alarming," says Doug Bartosh, Cottonwood City Manager and MATForce Co-Chair. "Teens are accessing these drugs in the comfort of their home; it can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer, or medicine cabinet. Parents can help by safeguarding medications in the home and by safely disposing of unwanted medications. Parents should be aware that this also includes cough and cold medicines."

The FDA reports a 73-percent increase in emergency room visits from 2004 to 2008 for over-the-counter DXM cough medicine abuse. In fact, the FDA is exploring restrictions on the sale of these products to help counteract growing abuse by children.

MATForce sponsors Dump the Drugs events twice a year. Bartosh said, "We thank the citizens of the Verde Valley for making a huge difference in disposing of medications properly. Because of the community-wide concern, we have disposed of over 3,000 pounds of unwanted medication, helping keep it safely away from youth and out of our waters."

For more information about Dump the Drugs, call 928-708-0100 or

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