Thanks to all who participated in the April 27 Prescription Drug Take Back! Along with the DEA, the Glendale Police Dept., the Sheriff’s Dept. volunteers, the Elks and community members staffed the tables. Special thanks to everyone who brought in over 300 pounds of unwanted medicines to us and away from those who might deliberately or accidentally misuse them.
As you read in a previous column written by Lisa Vartanian, PhD, some teens take random pills at parties for fun. According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 20% of the population took medicines for nonmedical use resulting in an “epidemic of nonmedical prescription opioid use.” OxyContin and Vicodin are opioids; Oxy has been called legal heroin. Addiction is not the only concern with drugs, those prescribed and illegal. Drug-related unintentional overdose is the second leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. after motor vehicles.
Speaking of motor vehicle accidents, Cinco de Mayo was Sunday and prom – another drinking occasion – is approaching. Parents, here’s your chance to talk to your kids about not driving buzzed or driving with someone who has been drinking. According to 2011 CA Healthy Kids Survey, 35% of Rosemont seventh graders were driven by someone who had been drinking. Just three Fridays ago, three eighth grade girls and I came upon an LAPD DUI check-point. The officers teased them.
“This one’s trouble!” “Are you girls staying safe?” “Let me see your license.” They loved the attention; afterwards we talked about why you don’t turn away (as illustrated by broadcaster Al Michaels), and why you don’t drink and drive.
You and your children (and their friends) share your liquor and medicine cabinets. Until they are of legal age, use of both is under your control. Discuss drugged and drunk driving with your children and their friends. Include their parents in the conversation. Please keep your family, and mine, safe.
P.S. Read about prescription drug abuse in the NFL at http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/pain-and-pain-management-in-nfl-spawn-a-culture-of-prescription-drug-use-and-abuse/2013/04/13/3b36f4de-a1e9-11e2-bd52-614156372695_story.html.
Suzy Jacobs is the executive director of the Crescenta Valley Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coalition. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.