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October is Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month

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The month of October pays tribute to not only breast cancer awareness, but also prescription drug abuse awareness. Missoula Underage Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Brandee Tyree said it’s extremely important to know how to properly use your medication, properly store them and properly dispose of them.

“We know that about eight percent of our Missoula highschoolers have used a narcotic prescription without a doctor’s permission. It’s pretty shocking when you’re thinking about a narcotic,” Tyree said. “We also know that medications like Adderall and stimulants can be popular among kids to share. We also know that little kids end up in the emergency room due to accidental poisoning because they accidentally get into our medication that we have sitting on our kitchen counter or bedroom nightstand.”

Tyree said to ensure parents are safeguarding their homes, take your unused or unneeded prescription medication to the 24 hour drop-box location at the Missoula Police Dept. [map] on Ryman Street.

“The bets way to keep your kids safe is first, remember that the medications are for you. Keep them up and away so the kids don’t know where they are. Secondly is to lock them up,” Tyree said. “You have to know what’s safest for you. If you have medications that you have to have nearby, we understand that. But in general, keeping them up on a higher shelf, there are lock boxes that you can buy. Just keeping them away from kids so they don’t accidentally get into them or they don’t accidentally decide to use them on purpose.”

To learn more, Tyree encourages Montanans to attend the Safe Kids Coalition Safety Fair this Sunday, October 3, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Community Medical Center.

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