By Tracy Roche, Prevention Consultant, Alcohol & Drug Services, High Point

Pledge to invest in the future of our youth and community. We are strong but we can’t afford to sit back and let others take the initiative. Medicines are helpful and safe when used the right way. For teens that want to get high, they are also readily available. Seventy percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, often for free. Many believe they are safer than “street drugs” like heroin and cocaine. This isn’t the case. Others believe you can’t get addicted to medicine. You can. We must challenge the myths around prescription and over the counter drugs. Our health and wellness depends on it.

Prevention starts at home, so let’s begin with three simple steps…

Step one:
Clean out your medicine cabinet. It’s easier than ever to get rid of old or unused medicines: take them to the Spring Operation Medicine Drop on April 27th, throw them away per FDA guidelines, or drop them off at the High Point Police Station. The department has a new, permanent medicine drop box in the lobby. It’s free, safe, convenient, confidential, and available around the clock! For safety reasons – no sharps/needles are accepted. If you need to throw away sharps/needles, there is a way.

If you live in the Greensboro city limits, simply put them in a rigid plastic container (i.e. laundry detergent bottle) and close the lid. Tape the lid for added safety. Label the container as “Sharps” or “Medicine” and throw it in your regular trash. It’s easy and it’s free.

If you live in the High Point city limits, the process is different. All sharps/needles must be in a bio-hazard sharps container (sorry, no detergent bottles). Buy one online or at select local pharmacies. Then, call Customer Service to schedule a pick up at 883-3111. This is a free service for residents only (no businesses). For anyone in the county, simply contact your waste disposal service and ask about the process.

Step two:
Start the conversation and keep it going. Teens want independence from adults, not each other. To fit in, they may try drugs because “everybody’s doing it.” Statistics often focus on the negative (ex. 1 out of 5 teens share prescription medicines). The message we should send is quite different. Four out of five teens don’t – which means most use medicines safely.

Step three:
Knowledge is power. Let’s empower the “silent majority” to speak up and flip the conversation to the positive. No one person or agency can do this alone.

Flip the Script is ready. Are you? To learn more about Flip the Script and the Spring Operation Medicine Drop, like us or follow us on Twitter @FlipTheScriptRx. It’s out with the old medicines and in – with new conversations.