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More Than Half of Massachusetts Parents Say Their Kids Have Access to Abusable Prescription Drugs in Their Homes
Date:10/12/2011

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  • Over one quarter of Massachusetts parents (27 percent) reported that they have themselves taken Rx pain medications not prescribed for them, at least occasionally.
  • Thirty percent of Massachusetts parents still have unused pain medications at home "in case someone in the family needs them," while only 19 percent have spoken to grandparents about safeguarding medicines in their homes.

"Prescription drug abuse is of critical concern in the Commonwealth and is a top priority for our Committee," said Representative Liz Malia, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.  "I am pleased to join with The Partnership at Drugfree.org to raise awareness about this problem and help educate parents and families about this dangerous behavior."

Survey findings also indicate that kids gain easier access to Rx drugs according to the locations in which adults tend to store these medications in their homes.  Thirty-six percent of adults said they store Rx drugs in the kitchen, while only 30 percent store them in a bathroom.  Twenty-four percent reported they store Rx medications in their bedrooms.

"This survey demonstrates the general lack of understanding of the dangerousness and often highly-addictive qualities of prescription drugs," said Senator John Keenan, Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.  "Raising awareness about the danger of prescription drug abuse, and helping parents know how to get help for a child, is critical."

The statewide study surveyed 300 primary caregivers of children 12-25 years old who have had prescription pain medications in their home in the past two years.  Conducted by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the Massachusetts Pain Medication survey was administered online via a nationally representative panel by Research Now.

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SOURCE The Partnership at Drugfree.org
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