LTPD disposal box available year-round
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health Services and Lighthorse Tribal Police Department participated in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 28.
The partnership of the two programs was formed to raise awareness and prevention of suicide and prescription drug abuse.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events occur twice a year during April and October. This is the third year MCN has participated.
The latest event was held at the LTPD facility.
LTPD has a permanent deposit box for anyone who wants to discard unused medication or dispose of medication properly.
BHS Suicide Prevention Specialist Tyler Stone hopes to make citizens aware of the risks of prescription pills being kept in the household and how misuse can be prevented.
“About 18 percent of suicides are actually taken by prescription drug medication,” Stone said.
BHS offers different services and resources for suicide prevention.
They provide medication lock boxes for citizens wanting to keep their medication in a safe location, and installed many at the MCN Elderly Housing last year.
BHS hosts trainings called Question Persuade Refer. QPR is a one-hour training for anyone wanting to learn how to handle a person who may be suicidal.
“We talk about how to talk about suicide,” Stone said.
The training includes how to approach a potentially suicidal person, warning signs and how to get help with counseling services.
Stone said 577 Native Americans died because of suicide in 2015.
Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for Native Americans, and the second leading cause for Native Americans ranging 10-34 years old.
Proper prescription drug disposal can be helpful in providing prescription drug abuse prevention.
“Prescription drug abuse, particularly here in the Nation, is really on the upswing,” LTPD Deputy Chief Daniel Wind said.
He explained that people who abuse prescription drugs or students wanting to experiment are searching for a convenient high, and may look towards a friend or relative that has a prescription. Easy access to prescription medication can lead to harm or accidental death.
“This is really a lifesaver,” Wind said.
Improper dumping can also raise environmental issues. If thrown into nature, medication can affect the water system and cause harm to wildlife and humans.
The programs are working together to help preventsuicide and drug abuse.
For more information, contact BHS at: 918-756-1910, or LTPD at: 918-732-7800
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text CREEK to 741-741.