For Immediate Release Media Contacts: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
North Hempstead Lends Voice to National “Lock Your Med” Public Awareness Campaign
December 1, 2011 (516) 869-7794
Manhasset, NY— Alarmed about the increase in prescription drug abuse among young adults and the heroin epidemic on Long Island, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board, partnered in another school sponsored pharmaceutical take back event.
For the last two years Supervisor and the Town Board have ramped up efforts to combat this troubling trend, adding their voices to a national public awareness campaign—“Lock Your Meds: Be Aware. Don’t Share.” The centerpiece of the campaign’s local component was a pharmaceutical take back event at Manhasset High School.
“We are proud to be part of this important campaign whose mission is to educate our community to the fact that when prescription drugs are used improperly they are dangerous and life threatening,” Supervisor Kaiman said.
The take-back event held at Manhasset High School yielded an estimated 330 pounds of outdated and unwanted pharmaceuticals.
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, nearly one in five teens has used prescription medication—pain relievers such as Vicodin and OxyContin and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall—to get high and one in ten report abusing cough medicine.
70% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends & family.
As well as North Hempstead, the partnership—headed by the Manhasset Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA)—includes Manhasset Public Schools, Manhasset School Community Association and the Nassau County Police Department.
Recognizing that parents, caregivers and all residents are in a unique position to reduce teen access to prescription drugs because they are found in the home, Manhasset CASA joined the National Family Partnership’s “Lock Your Meds: Be Aware. Don’t Share” public awareness campaign.
Cathy Samuels, Project Director of Manhasset CASA said, often, young people underestimate the dangers of misusing prescription medicines, which some experts contend is a “gateway” to other illegal drugs like heroin.
“Parents have to understand that for many teens, prescription drugs appear to be a ‘medically safe high’ because in their minds, these medicines were prescribed by a doctor,” Samuels said.
Pharmaceuticals are accepted at all town STOP (Stop throwing out pollutants) events.
Members of Manhasset CASA, Manhasset High School Students and North Hempstead Elected Officials were on hand to help collect unwanted pharmaceuticals at the recent pharmaceutical take-back event