To the editor:
Prescription drug use has been a growing topic of concern. Teens are using prescription drugs for recreational purposes at an alarming rate. According to the 2010 Teen Assessment Project data from Madison County, 11 percent of teens in grades 7 through 12 reported using controlled substance prescription drugs.
Thirteen percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. Twenty percent of students in grade 12 reported using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. The 2010 Teen Assessment Project was sponsored by the Madison County Youth Bureau.
So where are teens getting these prescription medications?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 64 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 who have abused pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives, often without the other person’s knowledge.
There are several things you can do to prevent teens from obtaining prescription drugs from your home. One way is to keep all prescription drugs locked up, so teens cannot have access to them. You could also keep an inventory of the number of drugs and the quantities you have for each drug. If you have outdated or prescription drugs that you no longer need look for a community take back program where these drugs are safely destroyed.
On Sept. 24 there will be a Safe Pill Drop Off at the Madison County Landfill on the Buyea Road in the town of Lincoln. This event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and accepts all over the counter and prescription medications in liquid and pill form. They will also be accepting veterinary medications and sharps in the red bio hazard containers (available at local pharmacies). This event is sponsored by: Madison County Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation, Madison County’s Sheriff’s Office, RSVP of Madison County, STOP DWI and Madison County’s Promise - The Alliance for Youth.
For more information on this event please contact BRiDGES at 697-3947 or Sharon Driscoll at 366-2788.
Coordinator, Madison County’s Promise