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Smart Policing in Reno, Nevada

Stacy Shamblin of the Reno Police Department discusses an innovative Smart Policing Initiative that aims to prevent prescription drug abuse through collaborations with the pharmaceutical, medical, education, and business communities.

Across the Nation community leaders, public health offices, and police departments are working to address today’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.  As part of the Smart Policing Initiative, the Reno, Nevada Police Department recently launched an innovative new project aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse within our community.  Based on a comprehensive strategy with both enforcement and prevention components, the initiative decreases availability of prescription drugs, increases knowledge about the dangers of substance abuse, and enforces laws designed to reduce prescription drug fraud and diversion.

This collaborative initiative was developed in partnership with the pharmaceutical, medical, education, and business communities, and with the support of substance abuse prevention advocates.  Ongoing activities include:

  • Prescription fraud training for over 300 pharmacists in the Reno area;
  • Meetings with pharmaceutical and medical boards to enhance knowledge sharing and collaboration;
  • Prescription Drug Round Up events which have collected and destroyed over 285,000 pills including highly addictive opiates, depressants , and stimulants;
  • Distribution of over 500 lockable medicine cabinets that help limit in-home access to prescription drugs; and
  • Series of interactive discussions and surveys with teens and adults to gain better understanding of the extent and nature of prescription drug abuse. 

To date, the results of this initiative, which is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, include enhanced collaboration and cooperation throughout the area. Among the participants, both physicians and pharmacists have stated that they believe improved protocols for the dispensing of drugs are required and that police should play a major role in this issue.  By taking a comprehensive and proactive approach to addressing prescription drug abuse, the Reno, Nevada Police Department is working hard to ensure that our community is healthy and safe.

Stacy Shamblin is Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinator at the Reno Police Department