President Obama's opioid attack plan

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his administration will take critical action steps to arrest the epidemic of opioid-related deaths in the United States.

Opioid – overdose deaths now outnumber the total people killed each year by traffic accidents. “A lot of people tragically die of car accidents and we spend a lot of time and a lot of resources to reduce those fatalities and the good news is that we’ve actually been very successful,” remarked President Obama.

The plan, which was presented at the National RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, will include among other features greater access to treatment, the purchasing and distribution of the opioid overdose reversal drug narcan and implementing syringe services programs.

Local law enforcement officials for Berrien Springs have taken a proactive approach in dealing with overdose deaths and drug abuse by simply making these drugs less accessible.

“It’s all about access, you open up the medicine cabinet and there’s different prescriptions there, different pills,” stated Officer Rick Smiedendorf of the Berrien Springs-Oronoko Police Department.

That access contributes to significant drug-related deaths in St. Joseph County that ranks as the fifth highest in Indiana in drug-related deaths. In Berrien County, Michigan the area ranks fifteenth in the state.

Having these drugs around can be a temptation for kids to try and experiment with them. “Some have been used for a point in time and people feel better so they stop using them,” says Officer Smiedendorf.

That's where kids step in and often make fatal mistakes when experimenting with lethal drugs. So, officers have partnered with the school district to get rid of these dangerous drugs before they find their way into the hands of kids.

Berrien Springs Middle School and Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department are hosting a prescription drug take back program.

Event details: Wednesday, March 30 2016 from 5 to 8:30pm

Thursday, March 31, 2016 from 12:00 to 3:30pm and 5 to 8:30pm

Open to the public. Drop off location – Berrien Springs Middle School, main office lobby, just inside door B-1. Pills only, no liquids or sharps. Park by main door if just dropping off. For questions, please call/email 269-277-2728 or  [email protected].

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