“We determined to make a change:” Mother and father who helped begin drug use carry hope – CBS Pittsburgh
From: Jessica Guay
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police departments in the area marked another successful national prescription drug withdrawal day. The Shaler Township program was run 10 years ago by a couple who lost their son to a drug overdose.
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“So many families are being torn apart by these drugs that are out there, and I don’t even want to call them drugs, they are drugs. That’s them, they’re bad drugs, ”said Norma Hufnagel.
Norma and Dave Hufnagel’s son, David Junior, was overdosed in 2007, but his story didn’t end there. They turned their grief and sadness into motivation and hope.
“He got a bad amount of heroin and died. We as mothers and fathers have decided that we can wallow in it now or make a change and we have decided to make a change, ”said Hufnagel.
In 2011, the Etna couple courageously launched the first drug take-back program in their community with the Shaler community police department.
Every year on the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, they collect unused, unwanted, and expired prescriptions at the Shaler North Hills Library.
On Saturday, Shaler Township Police Department and law enforcement agencies across the country participated in the DEA initiative.
They collected 296 pounds of unused medication at the Shaler North Hills Library.
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“You need to clean your medicine cabinets. It is very important whether you have young children, no children, or large adult children. If they want the drug, they’ll look for it, and believe it or not, it’s right at your home, ”said Hufnagel.
They hope this initiative will reduce the chance that prescription drugs will quench an addiction or cause an overdose.
“They ruin families, they ruin communities, they ruin lives, and it doesn’t just affect the person who is using them. It’s very devastating, ”said Hufnagel.
Over the past 10 years, Shaler Township’s program has collected 7,681 pounds of prescriptions and disposed of properly.
The nails will continue to bring hope to families with David who are always on the mind.
“I feel good, it really does. We advertise and tell our story wherever we can and we try to help others who are in the same situation we were in and to help them get help for their loved ones, ”said Hufnagel.
If you couldn’t make it to the gathering on Saturday, there is a prescription drug take-back box in the lobby of the Shaler Township Police Department.
Residents can drop off prescription or over-the-counter medicines. The regular pick-up times are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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Outside business hours arrangements can be made by calling 412-492-2222.