Prescription Drugs In The Home Are Fueling The Addiction Crisis Among Kids And Teens, Warns New Research

by: David DiSalvo, Senior Contributor

Looking at the results collectively, the biggest takeaway is that it’s dangerous to keep prescription meds in the home when they’re no longer needed. Particularly opioids, sedatives and stimulants – having any of these addictive drugs around elevates risk not only for your family, but also others who might gain access through someone in your home.

Even when a medication is needed, these results underscore how important it is to keep it as inaccessible as possible to others in the home. That’s easier said than done, of course, but the evidence is clear that failing to do so can have tragic consequences.

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To counter the rising number of opioid deaths, Saturday, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Sheriff Bill Gore, Safe Homes Coalition and the San Diego Association of REALTORS kicked off the “Keep Kids Safe” program.

For the 4thyear in a row, the number of San Diegans who died from unintentional drug-related deaths went up. According to the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, 273 people died in 2017. And 4 in 10 teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug say they stole it from their parent’s medicine cabinet.

“As a parent of three children, this terrifies me,” said Supervisor Gaspar. “That’s why I contributed $100,000 of District 3 funds to help launch the “Keep Kids Safe” program and make every parent aware of the silent danger that may be sitting in their medicine cabinet.” CEO of Safe Homes Coalition Scott Silverman said, “Prescription drug abuse is a critical and complex public health issue that impacts millions of Americans. Together, we can keep these addictive medications out of the hands of children and save lives”.

More than 150 real estate professionals went door-to-door around the county explaining how leaving unused prescription medications in their home can get into the wrong hands. They provided pre-paid, pre-addressed envelopes in which San Diegans can place unwanted prescriptions that will be shipped to a facility and incinerated.

Sheriff Gore said, “By making prescription drugs less accessible to our youth and those they are not prescribed for, we will help to reduce overdoses, deaths and many crimes occurring in our region.”

The hope is for San Diegans to be proactive and make prescription drugs less accessible to children.

Program partner American Medical Response said, “Our medics are witness to this crisis nearly every day and we must all join together to help tackle the drug problem we are seeing in our community.”

San Diego People: Opioid Crisis in San Diego

KUSI Newsroom

A nationwide epidemic is killing hundred of thousands of people across the United States every single year. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioid overdoses kill more then 130 people in the United States each day.

In San Diego County, overdose deaths from opioids have now surpassed every other kind of drug.

In the first segment of this San Diego People, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Karen Stoob-Care talked about the local impact of opioids and how the sheriff’s department is working to combat the crisis.

Later in the show we talked to Sue Harris, who lost her son to the opioid crisis, and the Executive Director of Safe Home Coalition Scott Silverman talked about things everyone can do to address a loved one who is suffering from addiction.

Last, Ennis Jackson, a paramedic, and Kevin Burke, the President of Greater San Diego Association of Realtors talked about the constant attention first responders are putting on the opioid crisis and how realtors are stepping in to help.

Watch here.

Amid Opioid Crisis, AMR Joins Initiative to Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Voice of San Diego
by: Jennifer McEntee

American Medical Response responds to more than 200,000 emergency medical transports annually in San Diego County. In recent years, AMR has seen a growing number of overdoses associated with suspected opioid use, according to Madeleine Baudoin, AMR’s government and public affairs manager.

“AMR is committed to the health and safety of every resident.  Decreasing the need for EMS through injury and illness prevention is an integral part of AMR’s commitment to community health,” Baudoin said. “AMR has set a goal to help reduce overdose deaths through prevention education.”

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Learning how to prevent drug abuse in teenagers

KUSI Newsroom

SAN DIEGO (KUSI)- According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of all Americans have a family member or friend who is, or who has been addicted to drugs. Teens and young adults are more susceptible and as a parent, it’s easier to prevent an addiction from forming at the early stages. President and CEO of Confirm Biosciences, Zeynep Ilgaz, joined us this morning to talk more about how teen drug abuse can be prevented.

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Opioid epidemic is reducing life expectancy

KUSI Newsroom

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The CDC recently lowered Americans’ life expectancy for the first time do to deaths from opioids.

CEO and founder of Confidential Recovery Scott Silverman stopped by Good Morning San Diego to discuss the growing issue.

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About 254 pounds of fentanyl, 395 pounds of meth seized by Border Protection

AP, KUSI Newsroom

PHOENIX (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced Thursday their biggest fentanyl bust ever, saying they captured nearly 254 pounds (114 kilograms) of the synthetic drug that is helping fueling a national epidemic of fatal opioid overdoses from a secret compartment inside a load of Mexican produce heading into Arizona.

The drug was found hidden Saturday morning in a compartment under the rear floor of a tractor-trailer after a scan during secondary inspection indicated “some anomalies” in the load, and the agency’s police dog team alerted officers to the presence of drugs, Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said.

Most of the seized fentanyl with an overall street value of about $3.5 million was in white powder form, but about 2 pounds of it (1 kilogram) was contained in pills. Agents also seized nearly 395 pounds (179 kilograms) of methamphetamine with a street value of $1.18 million, Humphries said.

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Drug overdose deaths were so bad in 2017, they reduced overall life expectancy

by: German Lopez

Drug overdose deaths reached another record high in 2017, according to new federal data.

The number of drug overdose deaths in the US was so high in 2017 that it contributed to a drop in life expectancy.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 — the highest number of drug overdose deaths for any single year in US history. The age-adjusted overdose death rate, of 21.7 per 100,000 people, was nearly 10 percent higher than it was in 2016, the CDC found.

The worst states for drug overdose deaths in 2017: West Virginia (57.8 per 100,000 people), Ohio (46.3), and Pennsylvania (44.3).

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Kristin Gaspar on National Prescription Drug take back day

KUSI Newsroom

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Prescription drug take-back day is October 27th. At tomorrow’s Supervisor’s Board meeting Chairwoman Gaspar will be presenting a Board letter that will propose a partnership with County Health and Human Services, the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, Sheriff Gore, DA Stephan, The Safe Homes Coalition and the SD Association of Realtors.

Their mission will be to educate families about the safe use, safe storage and proper disposal of prescription medications. In the last few years there has been a growing trend of theft of prescription medications during open houses so the focus will be on educating homeowners on the importance of locking up medications when other people are in your home. In the next few months, County staff will update the County’s Prescription Drug Abuse Plan and present it in March 2019.

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Leominster Champion Recognizes MA Senator Flanagan Support for Safe Homes Coalition


Flanagan shows support for Safe Homes Coalition

Submitted to The Champion

State Sen. Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster) has joined a large group of individuals and organizations endorsing the Safe Homes Coalition, and welcoming a new partner in the fight against prescription drug abuse and addiction: Area realtors.

She joined Gov. Charlie Baker for the program’s initial launch in September, and the Safe Homes Coalition recently launched a video of Flanagan’s endorsement, available on its website,

The Safe Homes Coalition leads a unique partnership comprised of the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (a division of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board), Learn to Cope, Millennium Health and local government and law enforcement leaders. The coalition also includes organizations representing the medical, dental and health care communities, recovery advocates, youth athletics and other community partnerships.

“I am thrilled to have the Safe Home Coalitions on board partnering with communities to take the steps that will ensure safety for families and realtors,” Flanagan said. “We initially launched this coalition in September, to align with Recovery Month, and this is the perfect time of year to educate people on how to safely store and dispose their prescriptions in order to avoid theft and misuse. It makes sense, and is another great way to prevent illegal drug sales and abuse.”

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