The Blaine County Community Drug Coalition has joined a national and state campaign to raise awareness of the problem of prescription drug abuse, particularly among teenagers.
“One in five Idaho teens admits to taking a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription at least once in their life,” the Drug Coalition reported in a news release. “Because they are prescribed by a physician, they’re perceived as being safe, but in the wrong hands they can be lethal.”
A statewide multi-media campaign, in conjunction with the National Family Partnership’s Lock Your Meds campaign, is being launched through Oct. 31 to call attention to the problem.
“We are excited about bringing the National Family Partnership’s Lock Your Meds campaign to Blaine County,” said Michael David, executive director of the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition. “Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in our state, our cities, our neighborhoods and our schools. Due to easy availability, we are witnessing a large increase in misuse, abuse and overdoses.
“Youth overwhelmingly report that they obtain these drugs easily from family members and friends. Therefore, the tagline for the Lock Your Meds campaign is ‘be aware, don’t share,’” David stated. “Because parents and grandparents are often the unwitting suppliers of these dangerous drugs, we hope this campaign serves to make them aware of the accessibility of their prescribed drugs and a reminder that it is their responsibility to secure them so others can’t access them.”
The campaign is also focusing on safe disposal of unused or expired medication. This Saturday, medication disposal locations at the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and Ketchum Police Department will be open as part of National Take Back Day.
“They can do it anytime these places are open, but this is kind of an awareness day,” David said.
In conjunction with the campaign, the Drug Coalition is purchasing a drug collection unit to be located at the Hailey Police Department office.