Seniors in Palm Springs Receive Sound Advice

PRESS RELEASE

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.