Vincent to participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

By KATHY COPELAND / Community Columnist

Saturday, April 28 is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It was established to provide an opportunity to dispose of any medications no longer needed in your home.

This is the first year the city of Vincent will host a drop-off location. To dispose safely of your unused or expired medication, residents are encouraged to take them to the Vincent Fire Department between the hours of 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

“I am proud that the city has partnered with the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force for this event,” said Bridgette Jordan-Smith, Vincent City Council member and Prevention Specialist, Drug Education Council. She explained that unused medications are often misused by those most vulnerable, our youth.

“This is also an opportunity to become educated about the drug issues that we face everywhere in this country,” she said.

In the past, discussions about misuse of prescription drugs centered around the elderly either forgetting to take medication or taking too much. Today conversations are about our youth; 60 percent of teens who try prescription drugs to get high are 15 years old or younger. More than 70 percent of prescription painkiller abusers say they got their drugs from family or friends without them knowing.

It is a documented fact that abuse of prescription drugs leads to addictions. The numbers have become staggering; it has become more than an isolated personal or family issue but a systemic societal issue, affecting all of us in one way or another.

Also, on Saturday, April 28, the Vincent Revival Center (VRC), New Life Westover and Redemption Church in Chelsea are jointly sponsoring an “End Addiction Shelby County Walk.” “This is a community event our churches have put together to create awareness and send the message that there is help and hope,” Pastor Jason, VRC, said. The “Walk” begins at Chelsea Middle School at 10 a.m. and is free.

Elizabeth Huntley, author of “More Than a Bird,” spoke this past weekend at a Women’s Conference hosted by Vincent’s First Baptist Church. As a young child she lived in an environment where drugs and addiction were only a part of a multitude of perils that could have destroyed her. She described how, through her journey of unimaginable darkness, God strategically placed teachers, pastors and other caring people in her life who, at just the right moment, said the right words.

“You never know when your words will be the encouragement someone needs to move forward on a positive path,” she said. “Your words are powerful.”

You may not face any of these issues in your daily life. However, taking Huntley’s words to heart, it strikes me that Saturday, April 28 affords two excellent opportunities to have a conversation with the young people in your life or simply your path. Just participating in one of these events could open a line of communication that results in positively changing a life.