Message from HC Drug Free

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 1:22pm
Northfield Elementary has been asked to share the following information with families. 
HC DrugFree partners with the Howard County Public School System and Parent Teacher Associations to provide drug and alcohol resources to school staff, students, parents and the community. Together we can save lives.
HC DrugFree focuses on ALL drugs including alcohol; however, this message is about the current opioid epidemic in Howard County. Opioids are legally prescribed pain medications as well as illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. The County is experiencing an increasing number of fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses and too many families are feeling the devastation from the loss of a child -- or a parent. As with any epidemic, we need to educate ourselves and protect our families.
Some Howard County stories begin with a child – just like yours -- having dental surgery or a sports injury and being prescribed legal pain medication. That may be your child’s first exposure to an opioid.
Youth in Howard County focus groups told HC DrugFree how at age 12 or 14 after taking just one pill or a few pills, they were hooked. They liked the feeling and therefore, took all 30 pills and wanted more. If your child can’t get more pills, they can get that same high from heroin – and your kids can get heroin and OTHER drugs WITHOUT leaving your neighborhood. Not my child! Yes, your child.
What can YOU do?
Talk with your doctor! When prescribed pain medication, ask if it’s an opioid, if you can take a lower dose, if non-opioid options are available. Our website has a complete list of questions.
Keep unnecessary medications out of your home. You can ask the doctor for 3 rather than 30 pills.
Monitor your medications. Do you know how many pills you have, where the pill bottles are, or who has access to them?
Safely secure all medications. Purchase a medication storage box like this one. If you don’t have a storage box, lock your medications in a safe, closet, or filing cabinet.
Properly dispose of unwanted and expired medications throughout the year or take medications to a drive-thru medication collection event. Twice a year, HC DrugFree holds a convenient drive-thru collection in partnership with the Howard County Police. We collect needles, syringes, and EpiPens at those events as well.
Suggest that your teen fulfills their community service hours by joining HC DrugFree’s Teen Advisory Council or volunteering at our community events. They’ll learn the facts about drugs and alcohol, and get accurate answers to their questions—which can save their lives.
Volunteer to be one of your school’s HC DrugFree Representatives.
Sign up for our free electronic newsletter to get important Howard County updates. You can ask us questions and we’ll have local experts respond with timely, accurate information.
Like HC DrugFree on Facebook, retweet our information, and visit our website.
We wish your family a safe school year.  Together, we can save lives.
Click here to watch a video from HC Drug Free.
Thank you.