Prescription drugs are stolen by anyone with a motive to do so including addicts or those who want to sell the drugs. This may not be a concern to most families, but parents of teens and children have another reason to be cautious with prescription drugs. 61% of teens report “prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs” (CBS News, 2009). Teens and children are taking prescription drugs from family and their friends’ families. Even if you can trust your own child, it is hard to determine if everyone of your child’s friends will not get into your unlocked prescriptions. The illegal use of prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal street drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, 2017). “Skittles Parties” are a new trend with some teens. The “Skittles” are not colorful candy but are a variety of pills that teens have taken from home and put into a sharing bowl (Narconon, 2017). The danger here is obvious.
All prescription drugs not taken as prescribed are dangerous but prescribed opioids have a connection to heroin addiction. “Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin” (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2014). Be sure to keep opioids and all prescription drugs in a locked area. When you are finished using prescribed opioids and other prescription drugs, it is best to safely discard these drugs.
October 28 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Please consider going through your prescriptions and discarding your outdated and unwanted prescriptions.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has a drug drop box in their lobby where you can discard these outdated and unwanted prescriptions at any time, 24 hours a day. Drug needles and liquids cannot be placed in the drug drop box. The Sheriff’s Office is located at 555 Gearhart Road in Sidney.
If you are in need of help or know someone in need of help for a drug addiction, below are some current resources in Shelby County that might be of assistance:
• Catholic Social Services (Mental Health/Addictions Outpatient) — 937-498-4593;
• Counseling for Wellness (Mental Health Outpatient) — 937-492-9355;
• FOA- Families of Addicts (Support- Locations Vary) — 937-307-5479;
• Family Resource Center of Northwest OH — 937-710-4616;
• Dr. Fred Sacks PhD & Associates, Dr. Sara Pleiman (Mental Health Outpatient) 937-492-9900;
• SafeHaven, Inc.- HOPE Line 937-451-3232 or (855) 276-4673, (937) 658-6930;
• Salvation Army (Other Recovery Services) — 937-492-8412;
• Samaritan Works (Other Recovery Services) — 937-492-9136, ext. 108;
• Shelby County Counseling Center (Mental Health/Addictions Outpatient, Other Recovery Services — Sliding fee scale basis dependent on household income) — 937-492-8080;
• Sidney-Shelby Co. Health Dept. — 937-498-7249;
• Shelby County Recovery Home (Other Recovery Services- Sliding fee scale basis dependent on household income) — 937-497-7355;
• Wilson Memorial Hospital Behavioral Health Center (Other Recovery Services) — 937-498-5578.
This is one article in a series of articles written with the backing of the Shelby County Opiate Task Force Education and Prevention Committee with the goal of increasing awareness and developing supports to prevent heroin use.
CBS News (2009). 5 drugs kids steal most often from parents. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/5-drugs-kids-steal-most-often-from-parents/.National Institute of Drug Abuse, (2014). America’s addiction to opioids:
Heroin and prescription drug abuse. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse
National Institute of Drug Abuse (2017). What is prescription drug abuse? Retrieved from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs.
Narconon (2017). Skittles party by teens is not what it seems. Retrieved from http://www.narconon.org/blog/narconon/skittles-party-by-teens-is-not-what-it-seems/.
Julie Willoughby, Ph.D., is a parent advocate for Shelby County Opiate Task Force Education and Prevention Committee. She also is the principal of Urbana North Elementary School.