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House Call: Your Medicine. Their Drugs.

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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Prescription medicines taken properly help heal illness, relieve pain, control disease, and bring balance to your life. When others take your medications, these prescriptions can be very dangerous. Answering our questions is Sonny Hoskinson, Director of Pharmacy at United Hospital Center.

1). Why is it so important to bring attention to national observances such as Lock Your Meds?

An alarming trend is emerging in the U.S., more than 1,700 kids begin experimenting with prescription and over-the-counter drugs every day. In addition, 6.5 million people age 12 and older report abusing prescription drugs. Prescription medications, when used as prescribed, can improve one’s health; unfortunately, many teens believe these are a safe way to get high. A national observance such as, Lock Your Meds, can only help to create awareness and reverse this trend.

2). How are teens getting access to these medications?

Approximately 53% of teens get their prescription drugs from friends and family, not street pushers. Kids think these drugs are “safe.” However, in the wrong hands, these medications are not. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can become inadvertent drug pushers by leaving their prescription opioids, stimulants, and depressants in places where teens can have access to these medications.

3). How do we rectify this situation?

It is simple, as The Lock Your Meds® campaign asks adults to secure their medication, regularly take inventory of their medication to ensure nothing is missing, safely dispose of unused or expired medication, and spread the word to family and friends. Let us all join together next Friday, October 23, National Lock Your Meds day, to share your knowledge, experience, and support with others to prevent prescription drug abuse by securing your meds in places your teen cannot access. Together, we can create a tipping point for change and raise safe, healthy, and drug-free children.

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