Press Release

 

Thousand Oaks / Community Drug Forum
4/18/2012 5:00:00 AM

 

Nature of Incident:

Community Drug Forum

 

 

Location:

Scherr Forum ' 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Date & Time:

04/25/2012 @ 06:30 PM

Unit Responsible:

Thousand Oaks Police Crime Prevention Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narrative:

Since 2009, we have seen a nearly 200% increase in opiate based overdoses in the Conejo Valley and are on pace to continue that trend in 2012. 

 

Got Pills ' If you are like most people you probably have some sort of medication stashed in a cupboard or medicine cabinet somewhere in your home.  Do your children have access to these medications'  Is the medication some type of pain medication'  In the recent past, we have seen a dramatic rise in prescription drug and heroin overdoses in the Conejo Valley.  In law enforcement, we have also seen an increase in the number of opiate related arrests in the Conejo Valley and other areas within the county.  The hospitals continue to treat individuals coming through their emergency rooms who have overdosed and the treatment centers are also not twiddling their thumbs waiting for someone to walk through their doors. 

 

This is not a problem isolated to the Conejo Valley as prescription pills and heroin abuse have increased in many communities throughout the United States.  Many of the young people begin their journey to heroin addiction by starting with prescription medication out of the family medicine cabinet.  As their need for the drug increases and supplies of pills dwindle or become too expensive, many young people are turning to heroin.  What once was a back alley drug only used by street addicts, is now finding its way into our schools and being used by all socioeconomic classes.

 

Since most prescription pain medications are opiate based the tendency for abuse is high.  We have recently experienced the deaths of young people in our community and adjoining communities are having public outcries for help with this problem.  

 

In the Conejo Valley, we have seen an increase from 6 opiate based overdoses in 2009, to 16 in 2010, 17 in 2011, and have already had four in the first three months of 2012.  Likewise, the number of arrests increased proportionately from 77 in 2009 to 217 arrests last year.  Consistently, 25-28% of the arrests, overdoses and deaths are people between 16 and 20 years of age.  The age category with the highest percentage is the group 21 to 25 years of age.

 

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, officials from law enforcement, the medical field, and the behavioral health community will be part of a panel to discuss the trends related to prescription drugs and heroin.  The forum is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about what to look for, how to identify potential problems, how to seek help or how to become involved.  In addition to the panel discussion and question/answer session, there will be other community outreach resources available for attendees to speak with before and after the panel discussion.   The resources will include youth service programs, public and private treatment centers, counseling services and community members who unfortunately have had to live through the nightmare of opiate addiction. 

 

Law enforcement will also have a drop off bin available for anyone wishing to properly dispose of expired or unused prescription medication at the event.  The bins are also available at all Sheriff Office stations, Simi Valley Police Department and Port Hueneme Police Department.

 

You may also find more information at SafeConejo.org or on Facebook at Conejo Valley Drug Updates.

 

Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Sgt. Eric Hatlee

Media Release Date:

4/18/2012

Follow-Up Contact:

Sgt. Eric Hatlee (805) 494-8256

Approved by:

Captain James Fryhoff