5 Simple Steps to Eliminating Rx Abuse

Wycoff is a beautiful suburban town in Bergen County, New Jersey.  The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has enjoyed many years of cooperation with the Wycoff, mayor and council, school board, and police department and it is the very last place you’d expect to be the latest battle front in the constant struggle against prescription drug abuse. But on Monday, that’s just what happened.

According to nj.com, Wycoff police apprehended a 16 year old boy with 315 Oxycodone pills, a street value of up to $10,000.  How does a teenager come across such a large stash of prescription drugs?  One possible answer may be at home.  Think about your medicine chest right now. What sorts of prescription drugs do you have in it?  Can they be easily accessed by your kids?  The fact is that kids are abusing prescription drugs at an alarming rate and they are easily accessible from their family’s medicine chest.  In some cases, these prescription drugs are being stolen out of homes and sold on the street for up to $80 a pill.

The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one. It could happen everywhere, even a place as quiet and unassuming as Wycoff.

Our American Medicine Chest Challenge initiative offers five simple steps to securing prescription drugs in the home and keeping them off the streets.  Take a look at these steps to see how to secure your medicine chest today.

  • Take inventory of your prescription and over-the counter medicine: Know what you have in your house. This way, you can easily notice if something is missing and act on it quickly, before something more serious happens.
  • Secure your medicine: Get rid of the temptation all together. No one can abuse or sell medicine they can’t get to. Visit OTCsafety.org for more information.
  • Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site: Prescription medicines should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor.  If you don’t need it, then there’s no reason to keep it. The American Medicine Chest Challenge initiative has sites located all over New Jersey and the United States where concerned citizens can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. To find one close to you, visit americanmedicinechest.com. If there isn’t a location close to you, then be sure to call your local police department and request one. The more safe disposal locations, the greater chance we have of eliminating prescription drug abuse once and for all!
  • Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed: Medicine is prescribed to you by a medical professional with years of experience and knowledge of your personal health. Prescription drugs are extremely beneficial when used properly. Don’t share your drugs with anyone as it may be extremely dangerous.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse: This is probably the most important step. The prevalence of prescription drug abuse shows that kids are curious. It’s important that they get their information from you and not someone on the street.

This a great start to ending prescription drug abuse.  It’s sad to see stories like the one coming out of Wycoff, but let it be a constant reminder to parents everywhere to stay vigilant when it comes to their medicine chests and to keep an open line of communication with their kids.  We can end prescription drug abuse in our state, but we need your help to do it.


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