The B.P.O. Elks official motto is “Elks Care, Elks Share”, but as it pertains to opioid medications it is “Elks Care, so we DON’T Share”.
The CDC’s newest data indicates 90% of heroin addicts began by using prescription pain medications: Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin, Percodan), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet), Lomotil, morphine (Kadian, Avinza, MS Contin), codeine, meperidine (Demerol), propoxyphene (Darvon) and fentanyl (Duragesic) to name a few common ones. 80% of those pills were obtained from parents, grandparents and friends. It is critical to secure these medications while they are being used and to destroy all leftover medications.
With a street value in Anchorage over $50 a pill, and over $100 a pill in the Bush communities, there is a financial incentive for people to do anything they can to obtain them – theft by friends and relatives is not uncommon.
Andy Jones with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services agreed to send every Elks Lodge in Alaska a quantity of Medication Disposal bags. Up to 40 pills can be put in each of these bags, water added to activate a charcoal based ingredient, seal and massage the bag for a couple of minutes. The active ingredients in the drugs are neutralized and can be safely thrown in the trash.
Nearly 60,000 people died from drug overdoses last year in our country – most from opioids. Getting rid of unused meds is the first step in curbing this tide. If you or someone you know needs to get rid of old meds, please contact the Eagle River Elks Lodge for a FREE disposal kit at 694-ELKS (3557) – it’s simple and you could save a life.