October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.
Nationally, prescription drugs are the second most abused drugs after marijuana. According to surveys from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 20 percent of teens say they have taken a prescription drug without having a prescription for it themselves, and 5 percent report abusing OTC cough medicine to get high.
October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month which aims to educate parents, youth and the community of the potential dangers associated with prescription and OTC medicine misuse and abuse. Each week the National Medicine Abuse Awareness campaign focuses on a different topic:
• October 5 -11 is Drug-Free Kids – celebrating kids who are “above the influence” and educating parents and other caregivers.
• October 12 – 18 is The Medical Community – focus on the medicine supply chain from manufacturer to doctor and pharmacist.
• October 19 – 25 is Our Schools – reaching out to teachers, administrators, counselors and nurses in our educational system.
• October 26 – 31 is Law Enforcement Community – honoring their key role in drug demand reduction and control.
What can you do?
ASK QUESTIONS by using the Respect RX steps whenever you receive a new prescription, you will have a better understanding of the proper use and potential dangers of your medication.
TALK to your teen about prescription and over the counter medicines. Teens listen, even if they seem like they do not. In fact, teens who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs.
SAFEGUARD your medicine cabinets. Take steps to protect your teens by locking up the medicines you have in your home. Know what you have and how much, so you will know if anything is missing. Discard any medicines you no longer need at a medicine take back event such as the one on Saturday, October 17th (for more information click here) or a permanent drop box location (click here for a list of ones in New Hanover County and Brunswick County). In 2014, New Hanover County collected 1,478 pounds of unused medication at two medication disposal events.
For more information and resources please visit the National Medicine Abuse Awareness website.