We have endured many changes to our daily routine and plans for the weekend the past month. We have been wearing masks for the past couple of weeks and staying six feet away from each other, some stores that we would shop at have been closed, some have stayed open through appointment, restaurants we frequent only have take out or delivery services and we have not been able to sit and enjoy the ambiance of the noise. Two of my favorite places to eat in Allegany County are the Modern Diner and Texas Hot for this ambiance and experience the hustle and bustle of the diners; it takes me back in time every time I eat there, one thing that has not changed is the availability of the pill drop boxes.
SAMHSA’s website states one in four teenagers believe that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid and nearly one-third of parents say that they believe that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication can improve a child’s academic or testing performance, even if that child does not have ADHD. Parents, children, and prescribers must be educated on the impact of prescription drugs on the developing brain. Two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers in the past year say they got them from family and friends, including home medicine cabinets, making it important to safeguard medicine in the home.
The other age group that have issues with prescription medication misuse and abuse is the elderly as they are more likely to be taking prescription medications. Individuals 65 years and older account for one-third of all medications prescribed, which is disproportionate to the percentage of the population that they represent, approximately 13% of the population in the United States. Furthermore, the number of people over 65 taking three or more prescription drugs increased from about one-third in 1988 to almost one-half in 2000. Drug misuse and abuse in the elderly is of special concern because it can cause cognitive and physical impairment— putting this population at greater risk for falls, motor vehicle accidents, and making them generally less able to care for their daily needs. Elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to prescription drug misuse. Misuse is defined as non-adherence to prescription directions and can be either willful or accidental. On average, people over 65 take 14-18 prescription medications a year. That’s a lot to manage, especially when drugs need to be taken at different times of the day. Getting medications mixed up, missing doses, or taking too much or too little of a drug can cause serious health issues.
For these two populations: Safe Use, Safe Storage, and Safe Disposal is important. Take It To The Box medication disposal boxes are still available throughout the county at different locations. There are ten locations throughout the county, located at:
- Alfred Pharmacy
- Allegany County Sheriff’s Office
- Alfred State University Police, Theta Gamma House
- Cuba Police Department
- Fillmore Pharmacy
- Friendship Pharmacy
- Jones Memorial Hospital
- Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar
- Nicholson Pharmacy
- Wellsville Police Department
During your Spring cleanup make sure to get rid of all unwanted or unused medications and properly dispose of them. Please do not flush medications down the toilet as studies have shown these medications find their way into our waterways and water supplies. Please do not throw medications away as people who know someone is taking medications can go through your trash to get the medications to abuse them. All medications that are dropped off are taken to an incinerating location that makes them inert.
While disposing of medications at a local drop box, please make sure to follow social distancing guidelines and follow current business procedures.