The holidays can be a busy and exciting time of year, with friends, family, and house guests in and out of your home. As you’re checking your list, be sure to check off safely storing and securing your medications! This helps reduce the risk and temptation to misuse or abuse prescriptions and even over the counter medications.

Why is this so important? The Arizona Youth Survey (2018) (1) asked students about how they obtained prescription medication if they ever misused it. This helps us know how we can better safeguard our prescriptions and our youth.

About 1 in 5 (20.6%) youth in Maricopa County reported they obtained prescription medications from friends or family
22.9% obtained prescription medication from home
30.5% reported getting them from friends
And 12.1% said they got them during a party   

Here are a few tips to keep your medication safely stored so we can Flip the Script on medication misuse and abuse.

Talk with the LGBTQ youth in your life about the importance of taking only their medication, and as prescribed. It might not always seem like it, but they are listening.
Organize and keep track of prescription (RX) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, and supplements in your home so you know if they go missing.
Secure them in a safe and locked location – this means somewhere other than the bathroom or kitchen cabinet, where they are in plain sight. Ask houseguests to do the same.
Utilize tools like a lockbox or lock bag, timer cap, or combination cap. Not sure where to find one? Contact us to request one! (Available while supplies last.)
Safely dispose of any expired or unwanted medication to get rid of excess in your home. Learn how from our last blog here.
 
It’s also important to recognize that the holidays can be a challenging time for LGBTQ youth. This can make them vulnerable to substance abuse or other harmful coping mechanisms if they don’t heave healthy, positive outlets. If you suspect an LGBTQ youth is struggling with their mental health, reach out to them and let them know you care about them. You can also connect them with supports like Teen Lifeline, The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline, or an affirming health care provider. Are you a teen looking for some self care tips? Check out our holiday blog.

Resources:
http://azcjc.gov/sites/default/files/pubs/AYSReports/2018/2018_AYS_Maricopa_County_Profile_Report.pdf