Tri-City Medical Center’s (TCMC) very own Chief External Affairs Officer Aaron Byzak was a key part in creating the DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day. Back in 2009, Byzak was the Founding Co-Chair of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force of San Diego County. Under his leadership, the task force pioneered one of the first large-scale take-back events in the country and helped spur its adoption nationwide.
“It is important if you see an opportunity to reduce risk in the community that you take it.” With personal and professional experience witnessing lives destroyed by substance abuse, Byzak, who also serves as president of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC), is passionate about removing drugs from the community. “Far too many young people have access in their immediate surroundings to these drugs, whether it is in their own medicine cabinet or out in the community.”
The task force started with a multifaceted approach to raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and passed a number of policies, including those focused on removing old prescriptions that sit idle on medicine cabinet shelves, particularly oxycontin. Now the conversation has shifted to a broader range of prescription drugs, including fentanyl, an even stronger drug that can be found in nearly every illegal drug on the black market. Fentanyl is blamed for a growing number of local overdose deaths each year.
“Fentanyl has been a game changer,” Byzak said. “It’s removed the excuse of, ‘Well, I just do this, insert drug, not fentanyl.’ Most of the people who overdose on fentanyl never had any intention of taking it, because it is laced in these other drugs, including counterfeit prescription medications.”
That is why it is essential to come out and safely dispose of your prescriptions. Tri-City Medical Center is teaming up with law enforcement to provide a drive-up drop box in the medical center’s parking lot near the main entrance on OCTOBER 29th, from 10 am – 2 pm.
WHEN: OCTOBER 29th 10 am – 2 pm
WHERE: 4002 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA 92056