Help prevent unintentional poisonings with a few simple steps, in honor of National Poison Prevention Week that starts March 15.
Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in America, with most of these deaths due to drug and medicine misuse and abuse. Each year, more than two million poisonings are reported to poison control centers across the country. Most of these occur in the home, with half of all non-fatal poisonings in children younger than 6.
The third week in March each year is designated National Poison Prevention Week, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. As part of this observance, the Kent County Behavioral Health Prevention Office is reminding our community about the importance of proper medication storage and disposal.
Recent trends indicate that teens and young adults are increasingly misusing prescription drugs or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. In fact, prescription medicines have become the most commonly abused drugs among 12- to 13-year-olds.
We can all help prevent medicine abuse with a few simple actions:
Talk with your teen or young adult. Children who learn the risks from parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t get these critical messages at home.
Safeguard your medicine. Keep your medications locked up, and count and monitor the pills you have.
Properly dispose of unused medication.There are three permanent, 24-hour, drop-off locations in Kent County:
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
104 Vickers Drive Unit B, Chestertown
Rock Hall Police Department
5885 N. Main St., Rock Hall
Chestertown Police Department
601 High St, Chestertown
You also can take part in national drug take back day next month, which is scheduled at state police barracks across the country, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 28. Check with your local barrack for information.
If you’re unable to get to a disposal location, the local health department offers free Deterra bags. Deterra bags safely deactivate medications for at-home disposal. Call Annette Duckery, Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Coordinator for Kent County Behavioral Health, at 410-778-7918 for bags, or for other information and resources.
If you suspect accidental poisoning, always call 911.
The Kent County Behavioral Health Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community.
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