The semi-annual Medicine Drop is being held March 22 at Biggs Park Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an initiative spearheaded by the Substance Abuse Task Force to get prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinets, off of the tables or wherever unused medicines are housed.
The previous drops have proven to be very successful: October 2013, 19,832 pills collected; March 2013, 22,952 pills collected; September 2012, 29,153 pills collected; March 2012, 26,702 pills collected; October 2011, 19,737 pills collected; and April 2011, 8,984 pills collected.
That totals more than 125,000 pills that have been taken off of the streets, so to speak. Prescribed drug abuse continues to be a problem in most areas and Robeson is one of the worst. Studies have found that family members are most often the source of drugs for children. Efforts such as the Medicine Drop aim at reducing the availability of prescribed drugs.
On a different note, April Oxendine is leading Innovative Approaches, a local effort to identify issues and solutions as it relates to children with special health needs. The leadership team has representatives from various agencies as well as family members of children with special needs. Lest one think this is a small population, there are more than 10,000 children who fall into this category.
Parents are frustrated at systems that are cumbersome at best, providers are frustrated by lack of knowledge of what is available and the systems are frustrated because no one appears to be satisfied with anything they do. Using focus groups of affected parents and others, Oxendine hopes to forge a new understanding. One area that has been identified is recreation, and plans are underway to conduct a summer camp. For information on the Innovative Approaches initiative, please contact Oxendine at 910-671-3423.