Keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of kids

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Nov. 15, 2012
Members of Enfield Together joined the Enfield Police Department to make a prescription drop box available to the community. Pictured (l-r): Officer Josh Marquis, Gina Veser, Enfield Together Coalition and Police Steering Committee, Jean Haughey, director, Enfield Youth Services, Officer Barry Gavello, Lt. Steve Kaselouskas, Officer Jessica Ficara, Officer Jamie Bancroft, Officer Joe Filmore and CSA Matt Bilgen.
Members of Enfield Together joined the Enfield Police Department to make a prescription drop box available to the community. Pictured (l-r): Officer Josh Marquis, Gina Veser, Enfield Together Coalition and Police Steering Committee, Jean Haughey, director, Enfield Youth Services, Officer Barry Gavello, Lt. Steve Kaselouskas, Officer Jessica Ficara, Officer Jamie Bancroft, Officer Joe Filmore and CSA Matt Bilgen.

While searching in the medicine cabinet for a bandage or some cough medicine, a person often has to move around and search through expired and unused prescriptions from old ailments and injuries. Many think these old prescriptions and medicines have been collecting dust for months and even years, but an alarming number of young people in the town of Enfield have been experimenting with these prescription medicines. A recent study conducted by the Enfield Together Coalition found that a low of 4.2 percent of sixth-graders to a high of 21.3 percent of high school seniors in town have experimented with prescription drugs.

“Prescription drug use is a concerning problem in the town and it is very important to take all necessary steps to prevent these drugs from getting into the hands of youth,” said Christina Turner, Enfield Youth Services' prevention coordinator.

The Enfield Together Coalition, in partnership with the Enfield Police Department, launched a prescription drop-box initiative to raise awareness about medicine abuse and to provide the town with a place to bring old medications to ensure they are not abused. The drop-box is located at the Enfield Police Department on 293 Elm St. and is available 24 hours a day. When individuals drop off their unused and expired prescriptions, the drop-box has a marker to black out their name, to remain anonymous before the town safely disposes of the deposited medications.

Town studies have shown that almost 10 percent of Enfield middle school and high school students reported using a prescription drug without a doctor’s orders to feel good or get high, with many trying out the drugs to self-medicate, cope with stress, pain, or even sleeping problems.

Turner said, “It is important for the public to know that when dropping off the medications there will be no questions asked, so they should not be afraid to make the choice to use the drop box.”


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