Drugs are bad, mmmkay? (Photo credit: cackhanded)
Press release September 24, 2013
The Gloucester Township Police Department wants parents to be aware that the abuse of Prescription Drugs is an epidemic throughout the state and many other states. Starting this year, the 4th grade students in Gloucester Township will receive an age appropriate lesson on the dangers of prescription pill abuse as part of our Society Improvement Program also known as “SIP”. This is of course in addition to the many other police-community programs offered by the Gloucester Township Police Department. Below are tips and suggestions that may help you with keeping your loved ones from abusing prescription medication.
Get information about prescription drug medications abused by teens.
Learn what the medication is used for, what it looks like, its effects and interactions, and how teens are using it.
Understand the power and danger of these medications.
Many drugs, particularly narcotic painkillers (opioid medications), are extremely powerful and are designed to relieve extreme pain. New medications are continually being approved for medical use, so it is important to be informed about the drugs’ uses and properties.
Ask your teens what they are experiencing at school, at friends’ homes, and at parties. Share with them what you have learned about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.
Ask your doctor and pharmacist about the medications you are being prescribed. Ask about their side effects and potential addictiveness. Ask which category the drug is: Narcotic, stimulant, depressant, steroid?
Review what is in your medicine cabinet.
Keep powerful medications in a safe place, not in the family medicine or kitchen cabinet, under lock if necessary. Count your pills when you receive them and periodically check to see how many are in the container.
Read the labels.
A drug label includes important information about a prescription drug. Many generic prescriptions are substituted for brand name drugs, and it may be easy to overlook the fact that the doctor has prescribed a very powerful narcotic painkiller, for example.
Different pharmaceutical companies produce many products that have the same basic ingredients. Usually, the generic name of the drug is printed in addition to the brand name, making it clearer that the customer is receiving ibuprofen/oxycodone HCL, for instance.
Report suspicious Internet pharmacies.
If you or your teen is aware of someone distributing prescription drugs or selling them on a suspicious Internet pharmacy site, please call the DEA hotline. Callers will be able to make confidential reports by dialing toll free 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873) around the clock, 365 days per year. The hotline will be staffed by bilingual operators employed by the DEA. This is a toll-free call from Mexico as well. During normal business hours, the caller will be connected directly to someone at the responsible DEA Domestic Field Office. After-hours tips will be forwarded by an internal, secure email system for further investigation and follow-up by DEA agents and investigators.
Dispose of your prescription drugs when they are no longer needed.
The Gloucester Township Police Department has two permanent prescription pill disposal boxes for residents to dispose of their unwanted prescription medicine properly. One box is available 24 hours a day and is located at the police department watch desk area and a second box is located near the operator’s desk on the municipal side of the municipal building.