First Posted: 10/7/2009
DOBSON After months of preparations and research, Surry Coalition for Awareness, Resources, Education and Support has released its survey to gauge prescription drug use and abuse in the county.
In an effort to better understand consumption patterns related to the use, misuse and abuse of prescription medication in and around Surry County, Surry CARES is collecting archival and community perception data this fall.
In order to collect this data, the group has created an online survey through which community members can express their opinions, thoughts and experiences with prescription medications.
This is part of a bigger effort to collect some of that community data. It will eventually end up in a written report that includes other needs assessment data, said Jamie Edwards, who is heading the coalition.
There are two different surveys, one for people 20-years-old and older and one for those 19-years-old and younger. Each survey is designed to take only about four minutes to complete. Participants names will not be included in the survey and answers will be counted along with those of other community members.
The survey can be accessed by visiting www.surryspfsig.org and clicking on the scrolling message bar in black. When the new page loads, participants will be asked to choose the survey in their age category.
Answering the questions on this survey is voluntary. You may choose not to answer this survey or you may choose to skip any questions that make you uncomfortable. This is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers, said Edwards.
Surry CARES hopes that with the help of the Surry County SPF-SIG Project, which runs Project: Connect the Dots, the data will be available for publication in the late spring of 2010.
The desire of the group to pursue this topic arose from data collected by the state concerning prescription drug overdoses and unintentional poisonings.
According to the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics, there were more than 22 deaths by prescription drug overdose per 100,000 people in parts of the mountains and foothills in 2006-07, which is more than twice that of the rest of the state.
According to the data, 62 people died in Surry County from 2000 to 2007 due to unintentional poisoning. That data states that Surry County has a 14.01 to 22.29 rate per 100,000 population for death by drugs, which places the county in the top 28 counties out of the 100 in the state.
The majority of the deaths, which ranged from ages 19 to 55, resulted from the use of methadone, which is used medically as a painkiller, and opiads, which also provide pain relieving effects, as well as other synthetic narcotics.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.