As of Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Fighting the drug abuse problem starts in your own bathroom.
Misuse and abuse of prescription medication still remains a public health issue largely under the public’s radar. That lack of awareness and public scrutiny unfortunately allow this problem to grow, and the impact is on our children who have all-too-ready access to the supply.
Statistics from The Medicine Abuse Project found 43 percent of teens reported prescription meds were easier to get than illegal drugs; 40 percent of teenagers obtained meds from family medicine cabinets, and half reported receiving them from a friend or relative.
Why prescription drug abuse is on the rise nationally has been attributed to several factors. Along with ease of access from a parent’s or relative’s supply, the overall supply in the public’s hands is larger than ever before. This includes prescriptions for commonly abused drugs such as opioids, CNS depressors and stimulants. As well, the Internet provides easy access – even for children and teens — to vast numbers of online pharmacies selling these highly addictive drugs.
Bringing this topic to the forefront this week is an opportunity – right now — for the public to help the fight in this abuse.
This Saturday, area law enforcement agencies in Kamiah, Cottonwood and Grangeville — as part of a nationwide push by DEA — will be running collection events for unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. These collections are then turned over to the DEA that disposes of these to keep them out of the hands of potential abusers as well as contaminating landfills and groundwater. Get your collection together, today, in a bag, and drop it off.
From here, the long-term prevention continues with learning about the problem and then being observant: check your current medication supplies for unusual shortages, and observe children’s activities and appearance for unusual behaviors. And discuss this issue and the dangers with children to let them know the problem, and that more importantly, you care for them.
Prescription medication abuse is a serious concern, but diligence and self-awareness on all of our parts could easily turn this around – for many of us, right here in rural Idaho, literally overnight.