By Angelo M. Valente
An alarming number of young people in our communities are intentionally abusing prescription medicines to get high. Prescription Drug Abuse affects the abuser, their families, their neighbors and their community. It affects all of us. This public health problem is not going away.
Emergency room visits are doubling and there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatments related to the abuse prescription drugs. More than 6 million Americans say they have used prescription medication for a non-medical purpose in the past 30 days, and, we know, 70 percent of people who are abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them from the medicine chests of friends and relatives.
Across the board the numbers related to prescription drug abuse are going in the wrong direction.
There is no question that medicine saves lives and relieves pain but it is time we recognize that many young people are abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicine and we must take steps to prevent this growing public health and safety epidemic.
On November 12, 2011 join the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC), a nationwide public health initiative and take the American Medicine Chest 5-Step Challenge by first Taking inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine, Securing your medicine chest, Safely disposing of the unused, unwanted, and expired medicine at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site or in your home, Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed, and most importantly, Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
For more information, please visit www.americanmedicinechest.com.
Angelo M. Valente is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Medicine Chest Challenge
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