Making a difference in a community can range from volunteering in an after school program to running a recycling initiative. For 15-year-old Allie Obszanski, however, serving her town meant fighting the scourge of prescription drug abuse. For her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, the high school sophomore chose to have a permanent prescription drug disposal box installed in her hometown of Tewksbury Township, New Jersey.
“My main reason for pursuing this project was that I wanted to help save lives by stopping illegal drug abuse through the abuse of prescription drugs,” Obszanski told the Hunterdon County Democrat, a local newspaper. She is also working on an educational campaign to encourage residents of the town to responsibly dispose of their unused medications.
Once she decided on her Gold Award Project idea, Obszanski reached out to Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns and Tewksbury Police Chief Thomas Holmes, who were both eager to help the girl scout with her work. With the assistance of the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset Counties, Obszanski was able to purchase a prescription drop-off box, which was installed at the local police station on December 16. Medications that are collected there will be disposed of by the county prosecutor’s office.
Prescription narcotics are considered by many law enforcement officials to be a gateway drug into heroin abuse. The proper disposal of these items can prevent children and teens from accidentally ingesting these medications, while also discouraging burglary and theft.
Fighting substance abuse of all forms begins in the home. If you believe your child is dependent on drugs or alcohol, seek help immediately. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how our youth intervention services can help your child.