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Opioids In Florida: The Latest Stats

Posted by Informed Families on January 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM

How Large Is The Opioid Problem In Florida?

With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, Florida is certainly not immune. And apparently, the problem is getting worse. According to a recent report from Florida's medical examiners, there has been a dramatic 22% increase (2,126 more deaths) of in drug-related deaths from the prior year. The report also showed a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths (1,483 over the previous year for a total of 5,725).

Not suprisingly, more deaths were caused by prescription drugs than illicit drugs, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. After all, availability and a low perception of harm lead to increased use and abuse.

The drugs that caused the most deaths were cocaine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, morphine, heroin, alcohol, oxycodone, methadone and methamphetamine.

“Clearly, those are shocking numbers and we have got to do something about it,” said Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa to The News Service of Florida.

Here are additional highlights from the report: 

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Topics: drug prevention, drug abuse, opioids, prescription, prescription drug abuse, prescription drugs, lock your meds

National Prescription Take-Back Day Scheduled For Sept. 26

Posted by Informed Families on August 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM

Save The Date!

National Prescription Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will take place in communities across America on September 26th from 10am-2pm. Those who live in Pennsylvania and Delaware will have their event on September 12. As with the DEA's previous nine Take-Back events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.  

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations, beginning on September 1st.

4 Ways To Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.  "Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected.

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Topics: drug, abuse, prescription

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

While most people think that pills inside of little orange bottles are safer when compared to street drugs like cocaine and heroin, it is still illegal and highly risky to use unprescribed drugs. In many cases the effects of prescription drug abuse can result in more addictive characteristics. The availability of prescription drugs tends to make these more easily abused in households with children in middle and high school. However, abuse can happen at any age and you may have experienced borderline abuses yourself if you have engaged in any of the following behaviors:

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Topics: prescription, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs, prevention

4 Ways to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on December 19, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Did you know that more teens and young adults are abusing prescription drugs than street drugs like cocaine and heroine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically. (whitehouse.gov)
The important thing to realize is that you can do your part to prevent prescription drug abuse among your children and their friends by becoming an Ambassador and doing 4 simple things---educating, monitoring, disposal and enforcement.

Educate

There is a plethora of resources regarding this epidemic online and you can find this information by searching, reading and even subscribing to e-mail lists from organizations such as drugabuse.gov, kidshealth.org and whitehouse.gov. Subscribe to the Informed Families prevention newsletter on the sidebar or read our 11 Tips for Talking to our Kids about Drug Abuse.

Monitor

Paying attention to how many prescription pills you have in your medicine cabinet is essential. You can do this simply by writing in the number in pen on your bottle or using a home medicine inventory card. The key takeaway here is to be actively engaged and conscious of your own prescription drugs so that it does not create an environment of temptation in your household. A great way to keep your prescribed medicine away from prying hands is by locking it up in a locking mechanism such as this pouch.

Dispose

If your prescription has expired or you no longer need the medicine, you should immediately dispose of the unused drugs. You can find convenient and environmentally responsible disposal programs in your community here or ask your city if they have take back program. The DEA also organizes a National Take Back Day twice a year.

Enforce

You may unfortunately come across an individual or situation where prescription drugs are being offered or abused. It is imperative that you provide law enforcement with information about if you find a doctor or an adult that is offering prescription drugs to children without a doctor's approval.

What You Can Do Today

You've already accomplished part of the plan by educating yourself on Prescription Drug abuse but now you have to take action by monitoring your pills, dispose your expired medications and inform the authorities if you find someone reinforcing prescription drug abuse. The easiest way to prevent prescription drug abuse is by taking the Lock Your Meds Pledge today by clicking on the red button below!

Learn More about Lock Your Meds  

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Topics: drug, abuse, prescription

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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