Mythbuster: Zain Syed

Addressing health and drug abuse concerns in tandem with environmental protection.

In 2011 Zain felt adamant that human health concerns and environmental protection go hand in hand.

So, he launched a project in his school - Campaign Epidemic. His project aimed to increase the availability of information about prescription drug abuse so the citizens of Lamar County, Texas could make educated decisions concerning the dangers to their health and the environment.

Zain put together a prescription drug abuse prevention plan that highlighted awareness in the community of the growing epidemic of prescription drugs. He also educated the public about the most commonly abused types of drugs and the potential dangers to health through distributing brochures and posters, giving talks and hosting events. Furthermore, Zain brought attention to the citizens of Paris, Texas that there was an urgent environmental need for a safe and permanent disposal system for unused and expired prescription drugs in his community.

In 2012, Zain installed the first permanent medication disposal unit in Lamar County.

Here's how he did it: He reached out to government officials for advice and support and received Proclamations from Paris City Council and Lamar County Commissioners' Court and a Resolution from Capitol Hill. He receive supportive letters from political figures such as Michelle Obama, Anita Perry, John Cornyn, Kevin Eltife, Joe Biden, Erwin Cain, DEA and the President's Executive Office on Drug Control. Zain received a key to the City of Paris from the Mayor for his work installing the medical disposal unit.

In 2013, Zain initiated "Project Cleanse" at school to raise awareness of the risks of misusing medications both for the body and for the environment.

He also designed a brochure that addresses the common myths about prescription drugs - separating fact from fiction, which is distributed in his school and throughout his community. 

Zain continues to highlight the need for proper and safe disposal of medications, informing the community of the unintended affects that unwanted medications may be having on drinking water and the wildlife in the environment. He has continued to show dedication to his cause and states. "If my project helps just one person from suffering from the risks of medication abuse then my project shall be a sucess," says Zain.



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