Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Prescription drug abuse and information

There are an increasing number of people being prescribed prescription medications today.  Because of this increase, there are more pills accessible in more home medicine cabinets.  More accessibility places people at higher risk for misuse, abuse and addiction.  Unfortunately there is a thriving market for the illegal sale and use of many prescription drugs and over the counter (OTC) medications. 

Winnebago County has experienced an increased number of prescription drug-related deaths in 2011. Deaths have been associated with persons ages 18-90.  Taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to you or in a non-prescribed way is drug abuse.  Prescription drug abuse can cause death, addiction, disability or disruptions in normal brain cell development.  Prescription drugs are the primary target in home invasions and thefts.  You don’t know who may be abusing prescription drugs. Family members, friends, service personnel – anyone who has access to the prescriptions in your home may be “tempted” to steal them for illegal use or sale. You want to safeguard your prescription and over the counter medications during the holiday season when we all have many visitors who  have casual access to our medicine cabinets and other places where we may normally keep these items.

Secure your medications.  Do not leave drugs on countertops or out in the open. Keep pill bottle caps on tightly.  Store drugs in a private area such as a bedroom or other secure place.  Know how many pills you have. Properly dispose of old or unneeded medicines and be award of anyone who enters your home.  Never flush old medications.  The Oshkosh (420 Jackson St.) and Neenah (2111 Marathon Ave.) Police Departments have installed permanent medication drop boxes for the proper disposal of these items. The drop boxes are open 24 hours a day - everyday and disposal is anonymous.  Medications can only be accepted in their original package or prescription bottle.  Cross out your name and address, but do not cover up the name of the medication.

The permanent medication drop boxes have been installed in partnership with re:TH!NK Winnebago’s Healthy Living Partnership. FMI contact your local law enforcement agency or www.rethinkwinnebago.org.


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