To fight a growing problem related to drug abuse, a local program has expanded its efforts statewide.
After a $1.3 million grant from BlueCross Health Foundation last year, the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition (CCADC) has expanded its Count It! Lock It! Drop It! program.
The program, which focuses on fighting prescription drug abuse, began in Coffee County and was launched by co-founders Kristina Clark, grant writer and sustainability consultant, and Christina Merino, executive director of the CCADC.
To prevent drug abuse, the program focuses on educating medical professionals and community members about the importance of counting medications, locking them and disposing of unused medications.
The program stresses that counting medicine prevents theft and helps ensure the medications are taken properly.
Locking medicine provides an additional barrier for those who shouldn’t but might be tempted to get those medications.
Dropping off unused medicines at safe locations is the third step of the program. CCADC partners with law enforcement offices and pharmacies to provide safe areas for people to dispose of their medications.
Merino said CCADC has successfully begun to train coalitions in communities new to the program. Last year, 32 counties participated in the Count It! Lock It! Drop It! program, and with the funding of BlueCross, the program is expected to be implemented in 72 counties, according to Merino.
Read the full story in the Tullahoma News.