Opiate addiction has grown into a serious epidemic nationwide and in northern Ohio. To protect the health and safety of the local community, Rader Environmental recently collaborated with the Hancock County Sherriff’s Department and Findlay Police Department to remove these dangerous or expired medications from people’s homes.
According to the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, “Opiate addiction in Ohio has grown to be on par with alcoholism.” Data released in 2013 by the state of Ohio bears out this assertion: Of more than 87,000 clients treated for addiction, 33 percent received alcohol addiction services and 32 percent received opiate addiction services; the latter figure is up from 28 percent in 2012 and more than 50 percent since 2008.
Part of the addiction problem may be linked to the number of opiate prescriptions written by doctors in the state of Ohio. As of June 20, 2014, the number of prescriptions equated to 16.5 doses per every man, woman and child in the state.
To put a dent in these numbers locally, the Hancock County Community Partnership established the Hancock County Opiate Task Force in 2010. Its mission is to promote awareness on how this epidemic affects the county; educate the community on harm-reduction efforts, unintentional drug overdose and deaths; and improve treatment options for addicts.
Last year, the Hancock County Task Force created a Medication Collection Committee consisting of Randy Greeno from the City of Findlay, along with Rader Environmental’s Bruce Deppen and Joe Rader. In October 2014, the Task Force hosted a medication collection drive at the Findlay Municipal Building and set up permanent medication drop-off boxes at the sheriff’s office and local police stations throughout the county.
As one of the leading hazardous materials management companies in Ohio, Rader Environmental volunteered to transport and destroy all medications collected at the collection-drive event and the permanent drop-off stations.
- In April 2015, the Task Force collected 412 pounds of potentially harmful medications from two collection bins in Findlay, which were permanently removed from the community by Rader Environmental.
- 290 pounds of unused medications were collected at the Findlay Municipal Building.
- Marathon Petroleum Corp. accumulated 122 pounds.
- Task force members Deppen and Rader earned commendations from Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller for their efforts in removing unused medications from the community.
Rader Environmental continues to team up with the City of Findlay and Hancock County to reduce harmful prescription medication from the community. The task force also educates the public on the dangers of abusing unused prescription medications.