Once again we need to have a conversation about "medicine cabinets"
If you follow our blog, then you know that about once a year we write about the deadly prescriptions that can be found in your "medicine cabinet." All of our previous posts are still timely, so we are providing easy links to those articles:
- A Call To Action To Prevent Prescription Drug Overdoses - 2011
- Who's Raiding The Medicine Cabinet? - 2012
- Do You Know Who Else Has Been Taking Your Prescriptions? - 2013
Meet Cyrus Stowe
This morning NBC's TODAY program introduced us to Cyrus Stowe. Cyrus lives in Dallas, Texas, and he is a 17 year old high school student. He became aware of how many students were regularly using painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. He also realized that the source of these medications were their own home environment...specifically their parents' medications easily found in the medicine cabinet. Cyrus also determined that many parents had no idea that the medications were disappearing.
It is easy enough for this to happen in any family. Maybe one member has a surgical procedure or an acute incident that requires pain medication. As is often the case, the patient recovers to the point that they no longer need to take the prescription, but there are remaining pills. And the bottles sit unsupervised in a medicine cabinet or nightstand drawer, or even a kitchen cupboard. Additionally, one family member may be prescribed a stimulant or tranquilizer, but again the bottles are not monitored.
Cyrus decided to make a short documentary to alert parents and other family members about the dangers of not monitoring these powerful and often deadly medications.
Watch Cyrus' trailer: "Out Of Reach"
Medicine Abuse Through A Teen's Eye
NBC's Maria Shriver meets Cyrus Stowe...
We feel it is critical that you see Maria Shriver's report where she not only introduces us to Cyrus Stowe, but also Sherrie Rubin. Sherrie is willing to join the conversation and share her own story about her son, Aaron.
If you are having viewing the video, you can see it here.
Here are the three tips provided by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids that Matt Lauer referred to in the Today Show segment:
- Talk to your kids about the risks of prescription drug abuse. Children who learn a lot about the risks of drugs are up to 50 percent less likely to use them.
- Keep your prescription medicine in a secure place, and count and monitor the number of pills you have.
- Set a good example for your kids and don't share medications or take a drug without having a prescription for it yourself.
Some closing thoughts...
Both Cyrus Stowe's film and Maria Shriver's report are conversation starters. You can help #EndMedicineAbuse by sharing the full film and an "Out of Reach" toolkit with your friends, schools, communities, families and more.