The Oregon Partnership has been hard at work promoting the Lock Your Meds® campaign throughout Oregon, co-sponsoring a statewide Prescription Drug Turn-In Day along with the Oregon Medical Association Alliance, and Community Action to Reduce Substance Abuse (CARSA). To the right, find a photo from the event, which collected an estimated 2 tons of prescription medications.
Click here to read more about Oregon Partnership’s Drug Turn-In Day (PDF format).
Click here to view a FOX News feature on the statewide event.
Click here to visit the Oregon Partnership’s website for more information.
Miami Family, a leading parenting publication of South Florida, featured the Lock Your Meds® campaign in their January issue. Highlighting the importance of taking inventory of your medicine cabinet, locking up medications, and regularly talking to your children about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, the article includes shocking statistics about the abuse of prescription drugs by children and teens collected by Lock Your Meds® affiliate Informed Families, located in South Florida.
Click here to read the article in full (PDF format).
The Manhasset Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA) has had a busy year, creating a prescription drug abuse public awareness campaign and sponsoring a Pharmaceutical Take Back event in October of 2010.
To read more about what Manhasset CASA has done with the Lock Your Meds® campaign, click on one of the PDF news articles shown below:
December 2, 2010: Manhasset CASA Lock Your Meds® Awareness Campaign
November 25, 2010: Manhasset CASA Reminds Parents of Over-the-Counter Medicine Abuse
October 28, 2010: Manhasset CASA Rx Take-Back
October 23, 2010: Pharmaceutical Take-Back Event
October 21, 2010: Manhasset Clergy Encourage Talking to Children About Rx Abuse
September 16, 2010: Manhasset CASA Collaborates to Protect Teens from Rx Abuse
On January 5, 2011 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted about Lock Your Meds®, responding to a blog post featuring the Lock Your Meds campaign on Gov Gab, a popular U.S. government blogging site. Click here to view the Gov Gab article.
Click here to view the tweet in full.
For more information, contact:
(305) 445-7550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NFP Premiers Lock Your Meds® Initiative at Red Ribbon Week® Kickoff Event
Red Ribbon Week® celebrates 25 years with special guest speaker David Mineta, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy
Miami, Florida – National Family Partnership® (NFP) and its affiliate Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership joined together Monday, September 27, at the Victor E. Clarke Education Center to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Red Ribbon Week®, to premier the launch of the new Lock Your Meds® campaign and to kick off this year’s Red Ribbon Week® activities.
Orchestrated annually in schools across the nation, Red Ribbon Week® seeks to educate students and the community about the types of drugs being abused, the negative consequences of drug use and how it affects individuals, families, and communities around them. This October marks the 25th anniversary of the Red Ribbon Campaign, which started in 1985 when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered Drug Enforcement Administration officer Kiki Camarena.
An alarming trend is emerging within America’s drug abuse problem. Prescription drug abuse is now the nation’s fastest growing substance abuse problem. Typical pharmacy drugs found in average household medicine cabinets are being abused more than all other illicit drugs combined, except marijuana. Unfortunately, those prescribed the medication are often not even aware that they have become a supplier.
Lock Your Meds® is a national multi-media campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially by young people. The campaign will conduct its official nationwide launch October 25 during this year’s Red Ribbon Week, taking place October 23-31.
The campaign is produced by the National Family Partnership® (NFP), a growing network of local coalitions, government agencies, education, and parent groups who work to improve the lives of families at the grassroots level. NFP provides a national voice and valuable resources to these groups.
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 prescription drug abusers report getting the drugs from their friends and families, these “unwitting suppliers” can be a force in curbing the abuse.
“You may be a supplier and don’t know it,” said Peggy Sapp, President of NFP and frequent keynote speaker on parenting issues. “Be aware and don’t share your medications. We believe that when armed with appropriate information and tools, parents and grandparents can become our Number One line of defense against this dangerous epidemic.”
Today’s news headlines are filled with stories about “pill mills” and “doc shopping,” and while they are real problems, they are not the primary suppliers. Neither are typical drug dealers on the street. Prescription drugs are being taken from purses, medicine cabinets and grandma’s pill case. Most teenagers taking the drugs think they are safe because doctors prescribe them.
Every day, more than 4,000 young people begin experimenting with prescription drugs and the number of admissions to treatment facilities has increased fourfold in the last 10 years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“We must use every means at our disposal to reduce the serious threat to public health from prescription drug abuse” said David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and keynote speaker at the Red Ribbon Kickoff. “This Administration’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy makes addressing prescription drug abuse a top priority, and achieving that goal will require a coordinated effort across the medical, prevention, treatment, and enforcement communities.”
To help parents, NFP offers “The Communications Gap,” a glossary of terms teens use to describe popular abused drugs, such as “pancakes and syrup,” a combination of pills and cough syrup. Families can gather information about the extent of the problem by reading the “MEDucation Guide” and learn preventive steps from the “Parent Guide” to begin reversing the alarming trend.
The campaign web site (www.lockyourmeds.org) includes easy-to-use resources, such as a home medicine inventory card and guidelines on how to properly dispose of prescription medicine. Parents can take a stand against prescription drug abuse by signing a pledge and sharing their message with friends and family. “We don’t have to feel helpless,” said Sapp. “This is something very tangible that each and every one of us can do.”
“Pain 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 make them safer.
For more information on prescription drug abuse or to download Lock Your Meds® materials, please visit http://www.lockyourmeds.org. For information on Red Ribbon activities in your area, please contact your local school district.
ABOUT INFORMED FAMILIES
A non-profit organization founded in 1982, the mission of Informed Families is helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free. Informed Families focuses on educating, involving and empowering parents to work together to set boundaries and monitor their children’s behavior to prevent underage drinking, substance abuse and other harmful behaviors. Affiliated with the National Family Partnership®, Informed Families is best known for being the Florida Sponsor of the National Red Ribbon Campaign®. Informed Families also boasts multiple school and community based prevention programs targeting youth, parents and communities.
For more information on Informed Families, please visit our website at www.informedfamilies.org, or call us at (305) 856-4886.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Law Enforcement Officers and Senior Adults Come Together for Medication Control and Disposal Training
Seniors encouraged to “Be Aware. Don’t Share.™ Lock your meds”
Palm Springs, California – Local senior adults joined members of the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), National Association of Triads (NATI) and National Family Partnership (NFP) at the Mizell Senior Center on Friday, September 10, for training on how to gain personal control of medications and the proper disposal of those medications.
Introduced at the event was the national, multi-media campaign Lock Your Meds®. This campaign is designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially
by young people. With 70% of the abused drugs coming from friends and families, these “unwitting suppliers” can take a stand against and be a force in curbing the abuse.
“Local law enforcement, senior care organizations and seniors, together, can build a strong defense against the growing epidemic of prescription drug misuse,” said Ed Hutchinson, Director, Triad and Traffic Safety, National Sheriffs’ Association. “It requires education on how to properly secure medications, to keep an inventory of medications and to appropriately dispose of medications.”
Through this training, the organizations strive to empower older adults to talk to primary caregivers and family about the dangers of taking medications without a prescription and to develop a working relationship with law enforcement when it comes to reporting prescription drug abuse and alternatives on resolving the abuse. Trudy Gregorie, Director, Justice Solutions, facilitated the training session. Gregorie has over 25 years of experience in the crime victim services and criminal justice fields.
Congresswoman Mary Bono Black said, “Events like these are great resources to help educate the public and ensure prescription medications are only used by the people with valid prescriptions and are kept out of the hands of our youth. It is my hope that this event opens up a very important discussion at the Senior Center and helps shed light on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.”
The Lock Your Meds® campaign is produced by the National Family Partnership® (NFP), a growing network of local coalitions, government agencies, education and parent groups who work to improve the lives of families at the grassroots level. NFP provides a national voice and valuable resources to these groups.
“You may be a supplier and don’t know it,” said Peggy Sapp, President of NFP and spokesperson for the Lock Your Meds® initiative. “Be aware and don’t share your medications. We believe that when armed with appropriate information and tools, parents and grandparents can become our Number One line of defense against this dangerous epidemic.”
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.
“Pain medications serve a very useful purpose for those in need,” said Marsha Stanton, Senior Director of Advocacy for King Pharmaceuticals, the primary sponsor of the Lock Your Meds campaign. “But in the wrong hands, they can be addictive and even deadly. Our advice is to take inventory of your medications, lock up your meds, talk to your children, grandchildren and primary caregivers regularly about the dangers of misuse and join our campaign.”
For more information on prescription drug abuse or to download Lock Your Meds materials, please visit http://www.lockyourmeds.org.
King Pharmaceuticals®, Inc., headquartered in Bristol, Tennessee, is committed to responsible pain management. For more information about King, go to http://www.kingpharm.com.
Op-Ed Piece or Letter to the Editor for General Release
By PEGGY SAPP
President, Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership
The dozen students at Hialeah Middle School who were hospitalized after taking over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants at school this week are part of an alarming and growing trend with our nation’s youth. Every day, more than 4,000 children and young adults begin experimenting with prescription and OTC drugs as a way to get high. In fact, these are the drugs of choice among children as young as 12. And, the sad news is, the age of such experimentation is beginning to drop.
Many adolescents believe that since the medicines were prescribed by doctors or given to them by their parents when they were sick, they are not harmful when abused. To many teens, prescription or OTC drugs provide an inexpensive, legal and medically safe high. According to recent studies, 7.3 million young people believe there’s nothing wrong with using non-prescribed medicines periodically and that parents “don’t care as much if you get caught.”
Where do they get these drugs? Look around your home . . . what’s in your medicine cabinet, on your kitchen counter or beside your bed, in your purse or coat pocket? Seventy percent of abusers get their drugs from relatives or friends, not from street pushers.
Medicines can turn into dangerous substances in the wrong hands. Between 1999-2004, 20,950 people died from an overdose of prescription drugs – that’s more than cocaine and heroin combined.
Many kids are taking their parents’ pain relievers, their grandparents’ tranquilizers, their brothers’ Ritalin, their aunts’ herbal diet pills . . . whatever they can get their hands on to alter their moods and behaviors. They may use their own lingo to secretly communicate with each other about these drugs. For example, you go “fishing” for grouper, they go “phishing” for pharmaceuticals. Kibbles & Bits may be something you feed your dog, but that’s Ritalin to many abusers. And, there’s a football team in Minnesota called the Vikings, but it’s also a slang name given to the pain reliever, Vicodin.
Parents often wonder why teens feel the need to abuse prescription or OTC drugs. They have many reasons, such as wanting to be accepted by their peers, needing to cope better with life’s stresses, relieving depression and anxiety, sleeping better, or increasing their concentration power in school. Some want to control their weight. Others want to self-medicate to relieve pain. In all likelihood, the Hialeah Middle School students wanted to get high. They were lucky this time– some became violently ill, but fortunately, no one overdosed and died.
Teen abuse of prescription and OTC drugs is fast becoming one of our nation’s biggest problems. The National Family Partnership®, along with King Pharmaceuticals, has launched a national campaign called Lock Your Meds® to alert adults about this disturbing trend and to provide ideas for prevention. We can all be part of the solution by removing drugs from our medicine cabinet or handy household spot
New Initiative Gives Adults a Voice to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse
By Peggy Sapp
It’s no surprise that America has a problem with drug abuse, particularly prescription drug abuse. But an alarming trend is emerging with drug abuse among our young people. The abuse isn’t occurring with the typical illicit drugs found on the street. Our youth are abusing the typical prescription and over-the-counter drugs found in average household medicine cabinets across the United States.
National Family Partnership® (NFP) is proud to present a new initiative that gives parents and grandparents a voice in the fight against prescription drug abuse. Lock Your Meds® is a national, multi-media campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially by young people.
At NFP, our mission is to nurture parents to help children reach their full potential. We have been successfully sharing the message of drug prevention for 25 years through the National Red Ribbon Campaign®. In that period of time, we have educated and equipped a growing network of nearly 100 state and community partners, which consists of local coalitions, Red Ribbon Certified Schools, PTO groups, parent committees and healthcare professionals. Our network is as diverse as the people we serve. Our army of support is able to reach people where they are in their community, no matter their race, culture, religion, lifestyle or financial status.
But in this day and age, the drug problem has a different identity and must be addressed with new combat tactics. To think that you, as parents and grandparents, could unknowingly be a supplier of prescription medications to your children is disturbing. Through our established, national network of supporters, I know that we can begin to educate our nation on the Lock Your Meds® initiative and help parents implement preventative steps to keep children and teens from accessing these medications. But, our work doesn’t stop here.
We want to grow and join forces with you, your community groups and your healthcare organizations that are not yet involved. We want to help arm each of you with the appropriate information and tools to be our Number One line of defense against this growing epidemic. The Lock Your Meds® campaign utilizes a variety of mediums to deliver its message, and all are available to you for use in your organization’s efforts and in your community. I urge you to take time and review our resources and samples found in the “Spread the Word” section of this website.
As parents and guardians, you don’t have to feel helpless in this fight. You must be aware and take the appropriate steps to not share. Everyone can implement these preventative steps to help ensure your children have a drug-free future:
- Take frequent inventory of your medications, keeping track of quantities of both prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
- Lock your meds in a safe location where children cannot access them.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of misusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Get involved by joining our campaign.
Knowledge helps save lives. In these last 25 years, it has taken more than just our core staff at NFP to share that knowledge of drug prevention with our nation. We are very thankful for all of the parent groups, Red Ribbon Certified Schools, community groups, healthcare professionals and organizations that joined in our efforts to educate and nurture parents and families.
We are especially grateful to King Pharmaceuticals® for their generous support of the Lock Your Meds® campaign. We look forward to continuing to support each of you on a local level, providing you with resources and a national voice.
Until next time,