Katie Feuerhelm, UW-Extension Pierce County
Most Pierce County youth have not misused prescription drugs. What can you do to help this continue?
Parents and other adults should talk with children about the risks of misusing medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. Students have reported that their parents are one of the most believable sources of information about the risks of using drugs.
You can take steps to limit access to these drugs and help keep your family and friends drug free.
- Note how many pills are in a bottle or pill packet, and keep track of refills.
- If you find you have to refill a medication more often than expected, someone may be taking your medication without your knowledge.
- Be a good role model with your own medication.
- Do not share your drugs, and always follow your medical provider’s instructions.
- Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medications (see options below for Pierce County).
- Ask your friends and family to safeguard their prescriptions drugs as well.
- Talk to your children about the risks of misusing prescription drugs. Those who use medicine to get “high” are obvious abusers. But what about those who use for other reasons, like; relieving pain, improving grades, to remain alert, fall asleep, or to lose weight, what if they are attempting to alleviate anxiety or depression? No matter how “good” of a reason it appears to be, if a prescribed medicine is being used by an unintended person, or in an alternate manner, dosage or time period, it is considered medicine abuse.
Ways to properly dispose of your old or unused medications in Pierce County include:
- Utilizing collection events when they are held in your community. The 2016 Pierce and Pepin Counties Fall Clean Sweep Hazardous Waste and Pharmaceutical Collection Event is being held on Saturday, September 17th, from 8:00am-12:00 noon, at the Pierce County MRF/Recycling Center, located at 707 North Maple Street/Hwy 65 North, Ellsworth, WI. (715) 273-3092
- Accepting: Household prescriptions, over the counter and pet medications. Empty your medications into a bag for collection at the event. Black out personal information on original container and place it in your trash.
- Not Accepting: Needles or other medical sharps
- Pierce County Sheriff Department, in conjunction with the Pierce County Solid Waste and Highway Departments, host a permanent drop-off location for residents to dispose of their unwanted or expired prescriptions, over the counter and pet medications. Residents can deliver their unwanted or expired medications to a special red painted station, located in the lobby by the dispatch window. All medications can be delivered:
- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Keep medication in their original containers, with personal information blacked out.
- No sharps or personal hygiene products will be accepted.
“By properly disposing your prescription drugs you’re not only saving our environment, but saving lives every day.” Sheriff Nancy Hove
For more information, contact the Pierce County MRF/Recycling Center, the Pierce County Sheriff Department, Pierce County Solid Waste and Highway Departments, or the Pierce County UW-Extension Office. (Pierce County, WI Website: http://www.co.pierce.wi.us/)