The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office hosted police from Athens, Cabell, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs and Scioto counties along with officers from the Ohio Federal Bureau of Prisons, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Kentucky State Police at the Holiday Inn.
Landon Gibbs, a prescription drug diversion expert with the Law Enforcement Liaison & Education (LELE) Department at Purdue Pharma L.P., conducted the conference, the entirety of which was not open to public.
“Our purpose is two-fold,” Gibbs said prior to the conference. “We’re sharing information to assist law enforcement and to prevent people from abusing prescription medication, but to allow patients to obtain the medications they need.”
Gibbs’ presentation was to include elements of drug identification, lawful prescribing, identifying diversion of medications, and interacting with neighboring law enforcement agencies. In addition, he was to talk about the problems that prescription abuse and trafficking can create for people in legitimate need of these medications.
“We want to make sure (prescription medication) stays in the hands of those who need it, not those who want to abuse it,” said Gibbs.
Officers from the sheriff’s office and the Gallipolis Police Department also attended Tuesday’s seminar.
“Like other communities across the country, we’ve noticed that local trends in criminal activity are changing, with prescription drug abuse and diversion on the rise,” said Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning. “We felt this training was a necessity for our local law enforcement community.”
“People should secure medications in the home, encourage friends and relatives to safeguard their medications and ask their pharmacist about how to properly dispose of medications they no longer need,” he added.
Gibbs was also to highlight RxPATROL®, a program developed by Purdue Pharma L.P. that functions to collect, analyze and disseminate information related to pharmacy offenses in an effort to aid police in the apprehension of suspects as well as aiding pharmacists in defending against thefts.