My TOWN Coalition
You’ve heard us ask you to “Bring it Up” – and many of you have talked to your kids about the dangers of alcohol and marijuana on their developing brains. Many of you have even taken steps to limit access to those drugs in your own homes, but did you know that the path to heroin addiction also largely begins at home?
“Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers need to be aware that prescription drug abuse can start right in your own household, from your own medicine cabinet. This really makes caregivers the first line of defense,” shares Chief Jeff Myers of the Hoquiam Police Department.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent this from happening in your home:
1. Remove outdated and unused medications from you home: Removing these medications keeps youth safe by limiting access. Please do not flush the medications as research shows this is becoming a hazard to water supplies throughout communities. Take advantage of the FREE local Drug Take-Back programs at the Hoquiam and Montesano Police departments.
2. Monitor your child’s use of pain medications that they are prescribed. Oftentimes it starts out as a legitimate injury for which a child is prescribed pain medication that later may unintentionally develop into an addiction. Make sure they are taking the medications as prescribed and monitor their continued need. Often the standard 30-day supply is too much; be the advocate for your child’s health by talking with the doctor about needed quantities and when to stop using the medication.
3. Secure your own medications at home: Recognize the medicine cabinet is a regular target of young people who take what they want and then share the drugs with other teens. This may sound far-fetched, but it really does happen.
Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Dave Pimentel states, “I’ve talked to a lot of heroin addicts in this county and I am no longer surprised when they share their story. Ninety percent of the time they admit that their addiction started at home with prescription pain medications. When those prescriptions are not refilled, they turn to heroin because it is cheaper to buy on the street.”
Please do your part to help stop prescription drug abuse in our County. Drug addiction is a disease and prevention is the most effective vaccine.
Grays Harbor Area Drop Box Locations:
Hoquiam Police Department
Daily, Available 24 hours
215 10th Street
Hoquiam WA 98550
Montesano Police Department
112 North Main Street
Montesano WA 98563