COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ark. – Seventeen college campuses across Arkansas have joined forces this week to educate students about the opioid abuse epidemic.
“Opioids in general are a central nervous system depressant, so they can actually cause someone to stop breathing,” warned Southern Arkansas University counselor Kasey Jones. “It is important that once you have used [prescriptions] for what you need it for, that you get rid of it so that people can’t get their hands on it.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, last year Arkansas had the second-highest opioid prescription rate in the country– with more prescriptions written than the actual population of the state.
Even with a prescription, long-term use for short-term effects can lead to addiction. The number one risk associated with opioid use is misuse, which can lead to consequences such as overdose or even death.
Students at Southern Arkansas University are taking a stand against abuse of prescription drugs with a week of events targeted to students and the community.
Residents in the Ozarks can join the fight against substance abuse by safely disposing of unused medications at Medication Disposal Boxes.