For a few years now community members have been working through Stokes Citizens for Safe and Healthy Communities to combat the prescription drug misuse and abuse problem plaguing the area, and the work continues.
The group’s task force is called STOP, which stands for Stokes Takes on Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse. The task force is working to promote awareness of proper use and disposal of medication, and it holds regular meetings to bring together officials, public safety officers, health personnel, and community leaders to dialogue on the issue.
At the Feb. 7 STOP meeting, Chairperson Brian Booe had some exciting news for the group. Leaders had just received word that the organization received a $20,000 grant from Northwest Community Care Network to carry on its work.
“Thank you again for your continued support,” he told the community members gathered.
Organizers schedule a variety of speakers to come talk to the group every six weeks or so about topics related to prescription drugs. On Feb. 7, Sandra Smith and Karen Bullins, nurses with Stokes County Schools, were present to talk about the school system’s policy for administering medicines to students.
Group members also gave updates at the meeting about upcoming initiatives and events.
The coalition has scheduled four medicine disposal events for March:
• March 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Pioneer Community Hospital of Stokes, Danbury
• March 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Stokes Government Center, Sheriff’s Office lobby
• March 23, 9 to 11 a.m. — Hicks Pharmacy, Walnut Cove
• March 23, 1 to 3 p.m. — South Main Street, King, across from City Hall.
STOP members also continue reminding people to utilize the medicine disposal drop boxes available during the week at the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office, King Police Department and Walnut Cove Police Department. In January of this year, nearly 4,000 doses were collected at these sites. Total doses collected at sites and at collection events over the past few years totaled 222,856.5 doses.
For more information about STOP or to get involved, contact Wanda Roberson at 336-287-2717 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Booe at 336-593-5409 or email@example.com.