VALPARAISO, Ind. - Thousands of American kids are hospitalized every year,
and some die, because they take medications not prescribed for them,
according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and with the
hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s a good time to keep an extra eye on
toddlers and teens.
Sheriff Dave Lain of Indiana’s Porter County advises adults to keep all
medications locked up and out of sight. Small children could eat pills
because they look like candy, and another problem is a growing number of
teen-agers raiding medicine cabinets in the hope of finding something to get
“Parents and grandparents need to really take a true assessment of the kids
and, importantly, their kids and grandkids’ friends, because oftentimes - if
the grandchildren aren’t necessarily involved - sometimes their friends
Lain recommends keeping all drugs locked up, which may seem extreme, but
could very well save a life. He also urges people to find drug drop-off
programs so that pharmaceuticals don’t end up flushed into water systems.
Lain says substance abuse touches everyone these days.
“I’ve long identified substance abuse as the single most damaging component
in our society today. There is virtually no family that can claim immunity,
from ether someone in their own family, or a close acquaintance.”
Lain says his department has been working with Porter County Triad, a senior
advocacy group, for the last eight years, taking in old prescriptions to
keep them out of the wrong hands, and to keep them from being flushed.