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Prescription and over the counter medication safety is a critical factor to our community’s health. Prescription and medicine abuse can be explained, in part, with the ease of access in the home. In a recent Elon University poll conducted with 744 individuals in the county who were over the age of 18, 64% admitted to not locking up prescription medications in their homes. In addition, anecdotally we know that many believe that because prescription and over the counter medicines are legal, it must be safer because it is prescribed by a doctor and dispensed or sold at pharmacies or stores.

Locally, there is growing concern that this category of drug abuse will continue to rise with the increase of opioid overdoses. Data shows that the number one cause of injury death in Alamance County for people ages 15-34 is unintentional poisonings where the clear majority of these are drug or medication-related. (N.C. Injury and Violence Prevention Branch).

ACDFC has organized community partners to provide two community forums to raise awareness on this issue and develop strategies to impact the problem. It has also provided training to parents, youth, and older adults, facilitated the installation of four permanent medication drop boxes in local police departments, assisted with the provision of training to local prescribers on safe prescribing practices for pain medication, supported medication take back programs and conducted a comprehensive county prescription opioid assessment.

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