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The original item was published from 4/12/2017 2:01:21 PM to 5/1/2017 12:00:03 AM.

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Public Health

Posted on: April 12, 2017

[ARCHIVED] National Drug Take Back Day

The Ipswich Department of Public Health is pleased to announce it will be supporting National Drug Take Back Day this month.
On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can visit the Ipswich High School, located at 134 High St., to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. The free event will be sponsored by the Ipswich Police Department and Ipswich Aware, a multi-disciplinary collaborative working to address the problem of substance abuse and addiction and promote community awareness, education and youth substance abuse prevention.
National Drug Take Back Day is an initiative designed to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. 
 “It is vital that we stress the importance of securing medicine cabinets and disposing of medications that are no longer needed, because it is too easy for them to fall into the wrong hands,” Ipswich Director of Public Health Colleen Fermon said. “The National Drug Take Back initiative is a great way for residents to safely dispose of their unwanted medications and address the problems that can occur when we don’t.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that, for youth, opioid addiction can often start when a clinician prescribes opioids following an injury, through access to painkillers in the family medicine cabinet, or by borrowing them from friends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four out of five new heroin users started with prescription painkillers.
The Ipswich Public Health Department recommends that residents watch out for the following signs that a person may be abusing or misusing medication: 
·         Pills or medication bottles are missing
·         Taking medication in excess of how it has been prescribed
·         Abrupt changes in finances
·         Dramatic mood changes
·         Lower grades, changes in friends, or changes in sleep or appetite
·         Loss of concern about appearance
·         Physical signs such as fatigue, confusion, weight loss, slurred speech, dizziness and changes in pupil size

The Ipswich Public Health Department also recommends the following tips for parents to discuss and prevent prescription drug abuse with their children: 
·         Talk to your teen and warn them about the potential dangers of taking medications that are not prescribed for them, including addiction and overdose.
·         Be clear with your expectations about drug and alcohol use and follow through by supporting healthy decisions that they make.
·         Ask your doctor if any medications prescribed for your family have a potential for abuse.
·         Take a regular inventory of medications that are kept in your home that can be abused.
·         Keep medications in a secure location away from your children. Consider purchasing a locked box at your local pharmacy to store medications that can be abused.

 For more information about properly disposing of prescription drugs or the April 29 Drug Take Back Day, contact the Ipswich Police Department at 978-356-4343.

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