Are You An Unintentional Drug Dealer?
October 04, 2013 | Falmouth Enterprise
By Dr. Michael Bihari
During the last week of September, the Falmouth Prevention Partnership launched the Lock Your Meds campaign.
This program promotes the safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs, especially among seniors. The Lock Your Meds campaign includes public education through newspaper, TV and print; informational seminars with senior and other groups; and meetings with healthcare professionals and pharmacies.
If you read the Enterprise, hopefully you have noticed large ads about the campaign, including posters that have been distributed in with the newspaper in Falmouth and Mashpee. The promotional material has been purchased through a grant from the Kelley Foundation, Woods Hole Foundation and Cape Cod Heath Care.
Why the Lock Your Meds Campaign is Important
Some disturbing facts about teens and Prescription pills:
- Every day, more than 2,500 teenagers use a prescription medication to get high for the first time!
- Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among 12 to 13-year-olds, slightly more than marijuana.
- There has been a dramatic increase in the number of poisonings and deaths associated with the abuse of prescription drugs. The Boston area has one of the highest rates of emergency room visits for drug overdoses in the nation.
- Of the teens who abused prescription drugs, 1 in 5 did so before age 14.
You Could Be a Drug Dealer and Not Even Know It
70% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from a family member or friend!Keeping your drugs on the kitchen counter or other open area invites abuse and thefts. Prevent your children and grandchildren from abusing your prescription medications by securing them in places they cannot access.
What Can I Do?
Purchase a Lock Your Meds Box to safeguard the medications you need. If you have unused or expired medications get rid of them at the drug disposal kiosk in the lobby of the Falmouth Police Department.
Prescription Pill Disposal
To assure that medications, especially those that may be abused by teens (such as narcotic pain killers, tranquilizers, and stimulants), are properly disposed of, the Falmouth Prevention Partnership has been involved with several activities to provide a place where residents of Falmouth can easily and safely get rid of unwanted drugs.
Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Each spring and fall the Falmouth Police Department and the Falmouth Prevention Partnership participate in the Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). These one-day events have been very successful. Since the National Take Back Initiative happens only twice a year, the Partnership worked with the Police Department and others in the community to establish a permanent medication disposal site.
Permanent Prescription Drug Disposal Site
In cooperation with the Falmouth Police Department, the Falmouth Substance Abuse Commission, and a $1,000 donation from Cape Cod Five Bank, the Partnership purchased a medication disposal unit that is in place in the lobby of the police department building on Main Street in Falmouth. The Prescription Drug Disposal Unit was officially launched and opened to the public on May 17, 2011. Since the start of its use, the unit has been emptied every week and hundreds of pounds of unwanted drugs have been collected.
The unit is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can dispose of your medications whenever it is convenient for you. The process is anonymous and there is no paperwork.
If for some reason you cannot or choose not to use the disposal unit or participate in the National Drug Take Back Day, it's important to for you to know how to safely dispose of your medications:
- DO NOT give drugs to anyone else
- DO NOT flush drugs down the toilet
- DO NOT put drugs in the trash without disguising them; human or animal scavengers may find them and misuse them