7th Heaven Star and Safeguard My Meds Advocate Prescription Safety

If used moderately and as directed, prescription medicines help ease many health conditions and cure others. But some people don’t know the risks of keeping medications unsecured in the home, especially medications that have a high potential to be abused, such as stimulants, tranquilizers and pain relievers.

Easy-to-find medicines can be abused by anyone entering a home, especially teens and young adults. Catherine Hicks, 7th Heaven star and parent advocate, is working with Safeguard My Meds to tell Americans what they can do to help prevent prescription medicine abuse and potential addiction.

Government statistics show that 70 percent of people age 12 and older who have abused prescription pain relievers say they got them from a friend or relative.

As the parent of a teenager, Hicks feels a personal connection to this growing issue. Every day, more than 2,500 teenagers abuse prescription medicine for the first time, and they don’t even need to leave the house to do it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 20 percent of teens have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s order. Hicks says taking these simple steps can make a big difference:

•    Keep medication in a locked storage container out of the reach of visitors, children and pets;

•    Keep a list of medicines in your home;

•    Never share prescription medicines with anyone or mix them;

•    Talk to your community pharmacists about the best way to store and get rid of old medicine;

•    Visit the site www.safeguardmymeds.org for more tips and tools to make your home medications safe; and

•    Tell friends and family to keep their medications safe and secure.

According to Keith Hodges, pharmacist and executive committee member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, when parents keep prescription medicines in their homes, they need to keep those medicines safe. Safeguard My Meds is a free resource offered by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Purdue Pharma L.P. Visit www.safeguardmymeds.org to find out more.

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