(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine promised to push forward with the fight against prescription drug abuse as National Poison Prevention Week began. National Poison Prevention Week runs from March 19-23.
"Despite the real progress we've made, four Ohioans still die every day from unintentional drug overdoses," said Attorney General DeWine. "Accidental drug poisonings kill more people in this state than car accidents."
When he was a U.S. Senator, DeWine wrote the law establishing the National Poison Control Center Hotline (1-800-222-1222). As Ohio's Attorney General, DeWine's successes in the battle against prescription drug abuse include:
Drug Seizures – The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) confiscated 53,000 pills valued at more than $1.4 million in 2011 compared to 10,131 pills worth $348,000 during the prior year.
Drug Take-Back Day – Ohioans turned in more than nine tons of unwanted or expired medications during last fall's Drug Take Back Day events. The 18,672-pount total exceeded the fall, 2010 collection by more than 4,000 pounds.
Closing Pill Mills –The Attorney General's Office, Scioto County officials, and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy shut down the last pill mill in Scioto County, where at one time more than a dozen pill mills were operating.
In addition, to help protect Ohio families, the Attorney General's Office produced a pamphlet, "Prescription for Disaster: Medications Pose Risk for Abuse, Accidental Poisonings," which is available on the Attorney General's website, www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Attorney General DeWine reminded Ohioans to keep all medicines, including "over-the-counter" drugs, in a secure, safe place. Expired or unused medications should be mixed with cat litter or coffee grounds, sealed up, and tossed in the trash.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840