Neptune City: Sheriff Shaun Golden wants residents to continue to be aware of the growing use of prescription drugs among teens. That’s why the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office conducts “Lock Your Meds” a prescription drug safety program. On May 4, “Lock Your Meds” was presented to 70 people at the Neptune City Community Center.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
“Educating adults on how to properly safeguard prescription drugs can help reduce the prescription drugs that are readily available to our children,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “That’s vital since prescription drugs are considered a gateway drug to other dangerous and serious street drugs.”
The “Lock Your Meds” program, initially developed collaboratively by King Pharmaceuticals, the National Family Partnership, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of Triads, Inc., teaches the importance of inventorying and securely storing prescription medications and the proper disposal of medications when completed. The program also stresses that prescription drugs can be just as addictive and just as lethal as drugs bought on the street when not used properly.
The most recent statistics in Monmouth County indicate that in 2014, there were 77 reported deaths of a drug related overdose. Of them, 62 were attributed to opiate use as the cause of death. Opiates include prescriptions drugs such as codeine, vicodin, oxycontin and percoset.
“These prescription drugs may be easily accessible to teens from the home medicine cabinet, and, often teens can falsely believe that because they are prescription drugs, they are safe and non-addictive,” said Sheriff Golden. “The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office continues to stress how crucial it is that drugs, unused, unwanted or expired lurking in people’s medicine cabinets do not end up in the wrong hands.”
In addition to locking prescription drugs, it’s important to dispose of unwanted and expired medications properly. The sheriff’s office has a permanent collection site located at the front entrance to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Center at 2500 Kozloski Rd. Freehold, which can be utilized Monday through Friday, 8a.m. to 4p.m.