Many of us grew up with a strong awareness of how to prevent forest fires because of Smokey the Bear. We also had a healthy fear of poisoning thanks to Mr. Yuck. Preventative police officers taught generations to “Just Say No” to illegal drugs. But who is the role model of children when it comes to behaviors involving Rx (prescription) drugs? The answer is clear—You.
You must ask yourself what behaviors you are teaching your child and what they will model as they grow up. In addition to taking the nature of Rx seriously, we also must focus on proper disposal. Keeping old medication around for future use may occasionally be a way to save a few dollars. However, it may cost you far more in the long run.
Just because the outside of the bottle has a safety cap does not make it safe to keep it where kids can find it. Drug seekers, experimenters, curious children can all make it into the medicine cabinet when you least expect it. Drugs can make it into the hands of those individuals in many ways. Open houses for home sales feed addicts and those looking to profit from these behaviors. Gangs fund themselves from bad behavior. It is happening in real life.
Nevertheless, in the latest survey from the Indiana Prevention Resource Center even our local college students admitted they misused Painkillers, Anti-anxiety/Depressants, and Stimulants. In most schools, the response to our outreach education is that the problem started in younger students. All of these drugs are prescription drugs. It is critical to understand the reason why we must properly dispose of prescription drugs. Misuse is abuse no matter (regardless) if they were acquired legally or illegally.
Never forget you are the role model your child will remember the most. It is a simple fact. If medications are disposed of when treatment ends, we stand a much better chance of preventing these bad (negative) behaviors from happening in the first place. Understanding the importance of PROPER disposal also means making sure; these pills do not become a part of our water supply by flushing them. Learn more about when and where you can drop your left over medications off on our website (http://www.in.gov/bitterpill/safe_storage.html).