America has a drug problem, and the primary source of these abused drugs is the family medicine cabinet. In fact, the supplier just might be...you.
Lock Your Meds™ is a national grassroots and multi-media campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are frequently the "unintentional suppliers" of prescription medications being abused, especially by young people. National Lock Your Meds™ Day will be observed by families, schools, and community organizations nationwide on October 27.
The Lock Your Meds™ campaign was developed by the National Family Partnership (NFP), sponsors of the National Red Ribbon Campaign, held in 132,000 schools across America every October 23rd-31st. NFP is comprised of a growing network of 85 affiliates that include local coalitions, government agencies, schools and parent groups that work to improve the lives of families at the grassroots level. NFP provides a national voice and valuable resources to these groups including a website (www.lockyourmeds.org), brochures, a PSA campaign and other resources.
Lock Your Meds™ is a call to action for all parents and families to take a stand against the alarming increase in prescription drug abuse. Since 70% of the abused drugs come from friends and families, adults are the first line of defense against this dangerous and preventable public health problem. "Many teenagers taking the drugs see nothing wrong with it because a doctor prescribed them," said Peggy Sapp, President of NFP and an expert on parenting issues. "Securing our medication and educating our children is something simple that each of us can do."
Every day, more than 4,000 young people begin experimenting with prescription drugs and the number of admissions to treatment facilities has increased 400% in the last 10 years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
"These findings should serve as exclamation points to what we already know –- abuse of prescription drugs is our country's fastest-growing drug problem, the source of which lurks far too often in our home medicine cabinets," said R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
"Pain relievers and other powerful medications serve a very useful purpose for those in need," said Marsha Stanton, Senior Director of Advocacy for King Pharmaceuticals. "But in the wrong hands, they can be addictive and even deadly. Our advice is to take inventory, lock up your meds, talk to your children regularly about the dangers and join our campaign." King Pharmaceuticals provides financial support for the campaign along with community education programs and new pain medications designed to be less susceptible to abuse.