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As our city and county continue to grow, the risks faced by our young people become more challenging and unfortunately easier to find. A big risk, which we can do something about, is prescription drug abuse.

Beyond the unbelievable costs this addiction has on the law enforcement and medical communities, it significantly impacts businesses and most importantly, our children and families. However, financial costs, abuse and other violence can, to a significant degree, be controlled by eliminating access to unused or expired medications still in the home.

Over the past several years, a committed group of local agencies, individuals and businesses have worked to increase awareness about prescription drug abuse and reduce the availability of unused or expired drugs in the home through the purchase of several new secure dropboxes where citizens can safely dispose of their unused or expired medications. Thanks in large part to this committed group, we have five secure dropboxes in Billings and a box at the Laurel Police Department, which in the past year have kept nearly 500 pounds of drugs away from our kids.

We invite the community to join us June 14 at 11:30 a.m. on the Courthouse lawn to celebrate the work done on the community's behalf by the March Against Drugs and Violence Coalition to protect our children and families. Help us celebrate the progress we have made and be part of the next steps to free our community from the effects of drugs and violence.

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Brian Dennis, chief professional officer

Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County

Billings

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