By participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, the American Farm Bureau Federation says you can make an impact on opioid addiction in rural America. Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Director Ruth Linkenmeyer Meirick says many opioid addictions start at home in the medicine cabinet.
"Three out of four farmers say it’s easy to access unused prescription medicines within their homes and what that’s telling us is that there’s lots of unused prescriptions in our medicine cabinets at home," Meirick said. "And we need to dispose of them, and we need to dispose of them safely so that easy access to those medicines aren’t there for our farmers and ranchers."
Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union created Farm Town Strong, a coalition to bring attention to the opioid epidemic in farm country and provide information and resources to help those struggling with opioid abuse. Meirick says the initiative found 74 percent of farmers and ranchers have been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
"We owe it to our farm families and our rural communities to keep each other safe," Meirick said. "And if we can take unused prescriptions out of our medicine cabinets and dispose of them in a safe manner by utilizing National Take Back Day, we can actually make an impact and we can make a difference in our rural communities."
Meirick says there are many ways to dispose of unused prescriptions.
"You can find a take back location in your area by just Googling National Take Back Day. The other thing that you can also do is, you can safely dispose of your prescription meds any time of year by dropping them off at a local pharmacy or stopping at your local sheriff’s station," Meirick said.
There’s also some in-home kits that you can use. But, regardless of how you dispose of unused prescription meds, if we can eliminate that temptation, we can help make an impact.
To learn more about the opioid crisis or access resources for those struggling with opioid abuse, visit FarmTownStrong.org.