This past Friday, Dr. Bell and I attended a continuing education course. The speaker, Dr. Harrold Crossley, is a pharmacologist, a pharmacist and if that wasn’t enough is also a dentist. His presentation left us both impressed and still reeling from his adept knowledge of not only dentistry, but also pharmacology. He does a good portion of the educational drug programs for the DEA, FBI and civil PD agents. If you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak, first let me know and then plan to attend with me!! The man is also incredibly funny!
Dr. Crossley covered 50 of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to this CE, I did not know that Vicodin is the most prescribed drug on the market. It is also one of the drugs most responsible for teenage drug abuse. A large percentage of teenage drug abuse is actually not “street drugs” but in fact prescription medication.
Where are kids getting these drugs you ask?
9 times out of 10 it’s not some shady character on the street corner that is corrupting our youth. Surprisingly the answer is all too commonly “In their parents medicine cabinet“. Curious teenagers experimenting or trying something “just to see what happens“.
Don’t forget it’s not just the Vicodin from a tooth extraction or some Oxycontin left over from a back injury. Teenage girls often abuse laxatives, and diuretics like high blood pressure medications in an attempt to stay skinny. Teenage boys do the same if they are into wrestling. Sometimes two seemingly innocuous drugs can be combined to create a potent high.
So do me a favor and check your cabinets for unused or expired medications both prescribed or over the counter. Getting rid of the meds can be slightly more complicated then it would seem. Flushing them means they get introduced into the water supply. Instead, wrap them in tape and put them in a plastic bag and put in your regular household trash.
The FDA or DEA usually does a yearly “medication drop” as well. Watch your local news. Some pharmacies will also dispose of them for you but call first because only a few do this and I don’t want anyone wasting precious time with a futile errand.
If you google “how to dispose of unused medication“, you will find 50K answers!! Ok, maybe not 50k, but the answers are out there!