Picture the image of a person you would think to be a drug dealer?
We imagine you’ve pulled up still frames in your mind from movies you’ve seen and your images are likely set in secluded alleys or dark corners. And while that may be where many a drug change hands, there’s also another setting you might never imagine — your own home.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, some 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives. The majority of those who misused prescription drugs obtained them from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
For those 12 to 17 years old, its data shows 57 percent of users fell into this category.
Now, picture your medicine cabinet. Is it place that sets the scene for such misuse in your home?
(And if you’re thinking, “My kid would never do that,” think again. In 2019, the survey found, nearly 5 percent of eighth-graders misused non-prescription cough medicine.)
So, maybe it’s time to do some spring cleaning and rid your home of unused and unwanted medications. But don’t just start tossing things in the trash or flushing them as that could also have deadly consequences down the line. Instead, make sure you mark your calendar for Saturday, April 24, as local law enforcement organizations will take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Part of a national annual effort, the event allows community members the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. This service is free, anonymous and no questions will be asked.
We encourage the community take part in the event.