Safely Dispose of Your Medications
In the United States, prescription drug abuse, specifically abuse of opioid pain relievers, is becoming more prevalent and has been linked to more overdose deaths than any illicit drug class. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates 54 million Americans ages 12 and older have misused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime.
Why are so many people abusing prescription drugs? They’re often easier to get. In fact, you may have some sitting in your own medicine cabinet. Many people are prescribed painkillers after surgery and leave the unused medication in their medicine cabinets. Although you might not be abusing it, friends and family members could be. Of those who abuse prescription opioids, more than half report getting them from friends or relatives. Even your pets take medications that are commonly abused!
To help curb the problem, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Taskforce developed National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This year, it’s Saturday, October 27th. If you have any unwanted, unused or expired medication, you can safely dispose of it at various sites throughout the country.
Prescription Drug Disposal in Connecticut
In 2017, more than 37,000 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs were disposed of at collection sites in Connecticut. You don’t have to wait for Take Back Day to clean out your medicine cabinet. Find a site near youand dispose of them at any time.
In collection boxes you can dispose of:
Do your part to help curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic and safely dispose of your medications today!
PREVENT BULLYING WITH KINDNESS
Nearly 30% of U.S. students in grades 6 through 12 and 19% of elementary students experience bullying every year. While some people think bullying is a normal part of growing up, research shows that it has a lasting impact. Those who are bullied experience higher rates of depression and anxiety than their peers and these issues can follow them into adulthood.
October is National Bullying Prevention Monthand this year’s theme is “Kindness Works.” Being kind to others is the respectful thing to do, but it also prevents bullying and improves the overall school environment. This is something that needs to be instilled in children beginning at a very young age. The behavior that seems harmless in toddler years can turn into a more serious problem later on if it’s not addressed and corrected by parents, caregivers and teachers.
Years ago, kids who were bullied could escape when they went home at the end of the day. Nowadays, bullying can continue after school thanks to technology. While verbal and social bullying are still the most common, 15% of high school studentsreported being electronically bullied in the last year; this takes place on social media or through text messages. However, this number is significantly higher for LGBTQ students; 55% report being cyberbullied. Instagram is the most popular social media network for teens and users say it’s an easy place to bully others by posting mean comments and bad photos. Some teens even go as far as creating “hate pages” which are dedicated to humiliating others.
5 Ways to Prevent Bullying
Parents, teachers and students all play a role in bullying prevention. Below are five ways to help create a positive environment for kids.
To learn more about bullying prevention, visit StopBullying.gov for tips and resources.
And remember, it’s cool to be kind!
Homeless Youth in Fairfield County
CT Coalition to End Homelessness released their report last week. Click below to view report:
Here is a summarized version of what the data shows…
There are estimated to be 5,054 homeless and unstably housed youth in the state of CT at any given point in time. These are unaccompanied minors and young adults between the ages of 18-24. “Homeless” refers to youth who are in emergency shelters, transitional programs, on the streets, or in some other place not meant for human habitation. “Unstably housed” refers to youth who are staying somewhere temporarily. This could mean several things. For example, someone who is unstably housed may bounce from one person’s couch to another and another with frequent moves every month, or it could mean that they are with family but often get kicked out with nowhere to go. It is important to recognize that even though youth may have a place to sleep, it is not always a safe place for them.
In Fairfield County, we have an estimated 1,032 homeless and unstably housed youth and young adults. 288 of these youth are literally homeless. Among those who are literally homeless, only 23% seek shelter. Mirroring the national data, we see that youth of color and LGBTQIA youth are disproportionately represented among homeless youth, many homeless females are pregnant and parenting, and many of these youth have a history of or current system involvement.
Helping Children and Youth Who Have Traumatic Experiences