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You May Be A Drug Supplier Without Knowing It

Originally Posted: March 03, 2011

Southampton - Lock Your Meds™ is a new national campaign to inform families that they are frequently the "unintentional suppliers" of prescription medications being abused by young people.

The President of the National Family Partnership, Peggy Sapp, who originally developed "Red Ribbon Week" back in 1988 into the national force it is today, reaching 80 million people each year, stated "Mobilizing parents and citizens to act and take responsibility is the most effective answer to stopping America's prescription drug problem."

Some sobering facts are below:

 • The CDC lists prescription drug abuse as the fastest-growing drug problem among 12 to 17 year olds.

 • One in five high school students in the U.S. admits to having taken a prescription drug without a prescription.

 • The number of teens going into treatment for addiction to prescription drugs has increased by more than 300 percent.

 • Emergency room visits for prescription drug abuse have more than doubled since 2004, and 48 percent of all ER hospital visits for prescription drug abuse are by young people ages 12 to 20.

 • Prescription drugs are now involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine, combined.

In 1988, the National Family Partnership developed Red Ribbon Week, the national anti-drug campaign that raises awareness and mobilizes communities reaching 80 million people each year.

As the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention group, the National Family Partnership is committed to keeping families informed.

 • More than 70 percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends, usually from the medicine cabinet at home.

 • Sixty-eight percent of households do not secure their medications.

Tips For Parents:

 • The Spring and Summer breaks are coming up. Warnings for parents usually focus on kids traveling abroad, yet teens staying home during the breaks are also at risk for dangerous behaviors such as abuse of prescription drugs. Studies show that more teens start using drugs for the first time during the spring and summer months, while unsupervised and with more free time.

 • Safeguard all medicines by monitoring quantities and controlling access. Remove drugs from your medicine cabinet and lock them up. Take inventory of your medications and check them regularly.

 • Warn your youngsters that prescription drugs can be just as dangerous, addictive, and lethal as street drugs. Studies show that teens dangerously view prescription drugs as "safer" to abuse than illicit drugs.

 • Properly dispose of old or expired medicines in the trash. Hide or mix them with cat litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.

 • Don't have kids at home? What about your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and your friends' kids that visit your house? You could be a drug supplier without even knowing it.

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