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,