What to do with medicine in your cabinet? Take it back – Cincinnati.com
When discussion of the opioid crisis comes up, one of the more commonly asked questions is: What can I do?
Here is an easy way to help: Participate in National Take Back Day on Saturday. Get unused medications out of your cabinet and out of reach of teens, visitors or people looking for opiates.Â
According to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention Survey, non-medical prescription drug use among teens is on the rise in Northern Kentuckyâs eight-county region. One place youth get these drugs is in the familyâs medicine cabinet. And itâs not just teens. A 6-year-old in Greater Cincinnati died Oct. 16 after taking some of her grandfatherâs medication.
Others already addicted to opiates often access their drugs from relativesâ medicine cabinets or by acting as prospective buyers in a house that is on the market. Thatâs why many people are locking up or hiding their prescription drugs.Â Â
We are encouraging everyone to collect unused prescription medications in your home and take them Saturday to one of the many locations where they can be dropped off to be safely disposed of. Go online to find one closest to you. Encourage your parents and grandparents, adult children and neighbors to do the same.Â
Numerous studies have linked the abuse of prescription drugs to opioid addiction. Some of the more common prescription opioids include Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, to name just a few. Morphine, Fentanyl and Methadone are other categories of drugs made from opium and used in pain treatment and management.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 33,000 people died from opioids in 2015 with almost half of all opioid overdose deaths involving a prescription medication. More than 1,000 per day are treated in emergency departments all over the country for abusing prescription opioids, also according to the CDC.
Take a moment to think about whatâs in your medicine cabinet and how easily accessible it is.
Prescription opioids kill more than 91 people every day, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Â Â
Physicians everywhere are being educated on the dangers of over-prescribing painkillers. In 2011, Ohio mandated that clinicians review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data. In 2012, Kentucky followed suit. PDMP is an electronic database that tracks controlled substance prescriptions in a state. Thatâs why you show your driverâs license to the pharmacist when you buy certain over-the-counter medications.
The opioid crisis has left a lot of us feeling helpless. It knows no boundaries, affecting families from all socio-economic levels, all geographic areas, all neighborhoods. October is National Talk About Prescriptions Month.
Do what you can this week: Take your unused prescriptions back and get them out of circulation.Â Â
Itâs one small step, but it could save someone from heading down a path of self-destruction.
Garren Colvin, President and CEO, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Kim Moser, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy
Chris Conners, Director, NKY Drug Strike Force
Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health, Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department
Amanda Peters, Coordinator, NKY Heroin Impact Response Task Force
Heidi Bohman, Coordinator, NorthKey Community Care Regional Prevention Center and NKY Prevention Alliance representing eight Drug Free Community Coalitions in Northern Kentucky
Anita Prater, Department Director, Brighton Recovery Center for Women; Chair, NKY Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Board
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