Southwest Counseling Service: Why should I lock my medication?


Delaney Wells, CPS

Is where you keep your medication really that important? Most people store medications, prescriptions, supplements and vitamins in their medicine cabinet, kitchen cupboards, or even in a desk drawer. However, the convenience of easily accessing your medications just might prove to be more harmful than helpful.

What many people do not realize, is that by leaving medications sitting out or in an easy to access location they may be contributing to a greater problem. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics states that every day roughly 5,400 people misuse prescription drugs for the first time, and over 50 million Americans (20% of people in the United States) have misused prescription drugs at least once. 51% of people who abuse analgesics got them from a friend or relative. While this statistic may not specify if the medication was given or taken it is always a good idea to safely store or dispose of any medication to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Not only should you lock medication for the benefit of preventing external use, but you may also be preventing addiction. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, substance abuse rates have increased 40% in the United States as reported in June 2020. While sources are still collecting data about COVID many other factors that contribute to substance use and abuse correlate to the impact that COVID has had on the U.S. COVID has caused many people to turn to substance use due to increased isolation, anxiety, depression, and pandemic fatigue.

In light of October being National “Talk About Your Medications” month, and October 23rd being National “Lock your Medication” day the Sweetwater County Prevention Coalition wants to bring to the public’s attention the importance of keeping personal medications safely stored. At Southwest Counseling Service, we provide free pill bottle locks, medication lockboxes, and Deterra medication disposal bags. On October 23rd for “Lock Your Medication” day, Southwest Counseling Service will be giving away lockboxes, pill bottle locks, and disposal bags to anyone who wants or needs one. Stop by Southwest Counseling Service at 2300 Foothill Blvd. Rock Springs, WY 82901, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm to pick up safe medication storage and disposal for yourself, a friend, or a family member. If you are not available to pick up medication safe storage or have any other questions regarding prevention resources, please call Southwest Counseling Service at 307-352-6677 and ask to speak to a prevention specialist, Delaney Wells or Shelby Gordon.


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