On October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Medford Police Department, in conjunction with the Medford Health Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
Clean out your medicine cabinets and bring the medications for disposal to the rear parking lot at Medford City Hall, 85 George P. Hassett Drive. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. In addition to the two National Take Back Days each year, the Medford Police Department offers a 24/7 Drug Disposal Drop box located in the lobby of the Medford Police Station. The Medford Drug Disposal Drop box is also free and anonymous, no questions asked.
These initiatives address a vital public safety and public health issue that has been affecting the entire country. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high as are the numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoes due to these drugs. The non-medical use of prescription drugs is the highest among young adults, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicates 7% of 12-17 year olds, 13% of 18-25 year olds, and 4% of persons age 26 and older have used prescription drugs non-medically in the past year.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Prescribers of prescription drugs, specifically narcotics, are being encouraged to use the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) as a way to track and monitor there patients and protect their health.
Parents are encouraged to speak to their children and take the appropriate preventive steps to ensure that prescription medications do not end up in the wrong hands. Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine. Be a good role model by following medical provider’s advice and dosages. Safeguard all drugs in the home and monitor quantities and control access. Be sure to ask your family and friends, particularly grandparents, to safeguard their prescription drugs. (www.TheAntiDrug.com)
For more information contact: Team Medford at TeamMedford02155@gmail.com or call Medford Health Department at 781-393-2560.