Today’s post, I wrote in hopes to encourage parents across the state of Tennessee, and everywhere, to help keep their children safe by safely storing and disposing of their medications.
Many parents believe their kids would never steal their medications, but unfortunately that is not the case. Two-thirds of Tennesseans using prescription drugs recreationally got them from a friend or relative. When individuals do not properly use or store prescription medications, it creates an opportunity for drug misuse by Tennesseans of all ages.
In Tennessee, there are 76 opioid-related deaths each day and four out of five heroin users begin their addiction on opioids. This year alone, 779 babies in Tennessee were born experiencing withdrawals from drugs.
I’ve teamed up with Count It! Lock It! Drop It!TM (CLD), a comprehensive community plan for prescription drug misuse prevention, based in Coffee County, Tenn. Their initiative is launching a statewide effort to combat the misuse of prescription pain medication. CLD is actively represented in 33 counties across Tennessee.
Count – Count your pills every two weeks to prevent theft and help ensure medications are taken properly.
Lock – Lock up your medications and stock them in a secure place others wouldn’t think to look.
Drop – Drop off your unused or expired medication for proper disposal at drop boxes.
During the holiday season, we entertain a lot of people. You can’t keep an eye on everyone, so make sure you take the above preventive measures to ensure your friends and family stay safe this holiday season. With prescription drug abuse and overdose increasing, it’s important to take appropriate measures to secure your medicines before visitors arrive.
“Friends or family may seek relief for a headache or some other condition, and simply take a prescription medication they find, thinking it will help,” said Cheryl McClatchey, behavioral health director at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “It may not be done with bad intentions, but it can have dangerous outcomes.”
You can purchase lock boxes at local pharmacies or on Amazon. Many Walgreens locations in Tennessee also have drop boxes for people to dispose of old or unused medications. Some coalitions also have a limited supply of free lock boxes. You can find your local community on the CLD communities tab at: http://countitlockitdropit.
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