Prescriptions for success

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Editorial: May 7, 2013

ISSUE: Connecting government agencies with the public

OUR VIEW: Benefits all

The national Office of Drug Control Policy is making a local impact. Grants totaling $300,000 are to be distributed over three years to agencies in seven regions of Kentucky to combat substance abuse in those ages 12 to 25.

Locally, that means Communicare is administering money to be used by local law enforcement agencies to keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and out of water supplies.

Radcliff and Elizabethtown already offer drug drop-off boxes where, at any time of day and on any day of the week, anyone can discard unused medications, no questions asked. Residents have been taking advantage of the opportunities. The drugs are incinerated, ensuring they stay out of the water system.

Organized drug drop-off days also are part of the formula. As part of a national drug take-back day April 27, more than 70 pounds of pills were collected in the area. It takes a lot of pills to make a pound.

The cost of drug collection boxes and disposal of their contents is neglible compared to the expenses that follow a young person “experimenting” with disused prescriptions: medical rehabilitation and treatment, incarceration, damaged relationships and losses from the crimes that usually go hand-in-hand with drug abuse. Proactive efforts such as these make much more sense.

PARRETT GOES TO COLLEGE. State Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, is one of 66 civilians selected to participate this summer in the U.S. War College’s Commandant’s National Security Program in Carlisle, Pa.

The four-day event is filled with discussions of national security topics and offers a view of the inner workings of the top levels of the American military.

Parrett, whose district includes a great number of military personnel, serves on the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee in the Kentucky legislature. He was nominated to participate by the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs.

According to the commission’s executive director, retired Army Col. David Thompson, the program is an “excellent U.S. Army outreach” that allows civilian leaders to have “candid exchanges” with military leaders.

Since the attacks of 9/11, civilians have played key roles in thwarting several would-be attacks, including the so-called underwear and shoe bombers, a Times Square bombing attempt and the discovery of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s hiding place. By inviting civilians such as Parrett to take part in national security discussions, the military is leveraging this nation’s greatest assets — Americans.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.