Parents, schools, students, law enforcement, treatment providers and the courts have sounded the alarm: The abuse, misuse and illegal sale of prescription drugs is happening in our community. Student survey data and the alcohol and other drug indicators report show alarming increases in use for recreational purposes. And tragically, local families and friends have experienced the loss of loved ones from unintentional overdoses.
An estimated 48 million people, or 20 percent of the population age 12 and older have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetimes. Nearly two million youth age 12-17 have abused painkillers, steroids, stimulants, and other prescriptions. According to the Partnership at Drugfree.Org, as many as one in five teenagers have taken prescription drugs without a prescription.
Why Do Teens Use them?
For a variety of reasons. To party and get high, in some cases, but also to manage or regulate their lives. They’re abusing some stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall to give them additional energy and ability to focus when they’re studying or taking tests. They’re abusing pain relievers like OxyContin and tranquilizers such as Xanax to cope with academic, social or emotional stress. They’re abusing prescription amphetamines to lose weight, or prescription steroids to bulk up.
Where are Teens Getting These Prescription Drugs?
The vast majority of teens abusing prescription drugs are getting them from the medicine cabinets of friends, family and acquaintances. Some teens traffic among themselves – handing out or selling ―extra pills of their own, or pills they’ve acquired or stolen from classmates. A very small minority of teens say they get their prescription drugs illicitly from doctors, pharmacists or over the internet.
What You Can Do To Help
Lock up and safeguard
all medicines to help prevent access and abuse. Consider a locking cabinet, drawer or locking Rx medicine container as a way to secure and monitor prescription medications.
of unwanted, unused, or expired medication at one of several convenient safe disposal sites listed below.
Talk to your children or grandchildren.
Remind them that prescription and over the counter medicines can be as harmful as illegal drugs if not taken when needed or as prescribed.
Set clear rules for teens about all drug use,
including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider’s advice and dosages.
Be a good role model
by following these same rules with your own medicines.
It is illegal for someone to share, give or sell
their controlled prescription medications to another person. Common controlled substances include: painkillers (Oxycontin, Vicoden, Percocet, Hydrocodone) and sedatives (Valium, Xanax, or sleeping pills)
Secure, monitor and dispose of unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Protect our teens from an epidemic of Rx abuse. 7 of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers are prescription medications. Teens get dangerous drugs from medicine cabinets at home or from family and friends.
Protect our young children from a leading cause of accidental poisoning.
Protect our seniors from misuse and mistakes.
Protect our environment. Medications disposed of down the toilet or in the trash end up in our water supplies and damage our environment. You can help prevent prescription drug abuse.
Protect your home. People that are addicted may look for opportunities to access your medications.
Purchase a Safer Lock combination bottle lock for prescription medication safety and accidental poisoning prevention.
Safe Disposal Bin Locations
Grass Valley Police Department
129 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA
24-hour Safe Disposal site for prescription drugs
111 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley, CA
8am – 10pm Monday – Sunday
Prescription drug & Over-the-Counter & Sharps
Save Mart Pharmacy
12054 Nevada City Hwy, Grass Valley, CA
Prescription drugs Only