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News Dec 20, 2013 - 3:33:07 PM

State Drug Control Experts Advise: Keep Medications in a Secure Area to Protect Children and Teens this Holiday Season

By Department of Consumer Protection

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HARTFORD, CT - “Because the holidays often bring guests of all ages into your home, it’s an especially important time to make sure your medications are locked away safely in order to prevent accidental poisonings and misuse,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said Thursday.

The Department of Consumer Protection operates Connecticut’s Drug Control Division, which assures the safety and integrity of all medication and of the prescription drug delivery system in the state, and administers the Prescription Monitoring Program, a statewide effort designed to assist physicians in treating their patients and reducing prescription medication abuse.

“Each year, hundreds of Connecticut children and teens are hospitalized because they’ve taken medications that were not properly secured,” Drug Control Director John Gadea said. “A young child may discover pills or cold syrup on a bathroom counter, or an adolescent may take pills out of a medicine cabinet or purse to experiment with or share with friends.” While potentially tragic overdoses are not uncommon, they can be prevented, Gadea said.

The Department encourages parents and grandparents to watch Dr. Richard Kamin’s “Talk to Your Teen About Prescription Drug Abuse,” a public service announcement (PSA) produced by the Prescription Monitoring Program and supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, that asks parents to talk to their teens about prescription drug abuse and to dispose of unused medications properly.

In addition to the PSA, the Department’s Prescription Monitoring Program’s webpage contains other helpful materials such as brochures, editorials, and links to additional educational resources to help you keep and use medicines safely.

“Protect your loved ones this holiday season by locking away your prescription and over-the-counter medications before they wind up in the wrong hands,” Rubenstein said. “It’s a small step that truly could save lives.”

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