SHERIFF DeMARCO URGES PARENTS TO USE DRUG TEST KITS, LOCK MEDICINE CABINETS AND THINK TWICE ABOUT PAINKILLER PRESCRIPTIONS FOR TEENS
Yaphank, NY – Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco today warned parents to use extreme caution when it comes to prescription painkillers and to lock medicine cabinets and drug test their kids. “In the midst of a severe drug epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, and with the recent FDA approval of the intense painkiller drug, Zohydro, more than ever, parents really need to take this fight into their own hands and protect their kids and families.”
Sheriff DeMarco started the free drug testing program called Test Don’t Guess in 2009 to help families fight against drug abuse. Parents can pick up the kits at the Sheriff’s Office in Riverhead, at the Town of Brookhaven’s Youth Bureau, at Town Hall in Babylon, at the North Shore Youth Council in Rocky Point, as well as at many of their local County legislative offices. The test kits offer parents and guardians a way to encourage family discussion about drugs, and also can be used as leverage for privileges, such as use of a car or staying out late on the weekends.
“The county jails are full of people, as young as 16 years old, who started abusing opioids at a young age. Some of these people had received legitimate prescriptions following an injury and simply couldn’t stop using the painkillers. Others report that they rummaged through family and friends’ medicine cabinets and stole pills for recreational use. Residents need to lock up these opioids or refuse to use them altogether. This is a serious and growing problem — drug companies may be winning but our communities are losing and our kids are dying,” stated Sheriff DeMarco.
DeMarco added, “If a doctor or hospital prescribes a heavy duty painkiller for a pulled tooth or a broken arm, consider first trying an over the counter painkiller.”
For more information, visit the Sheriff’s Office website at www.suffolksheriff.com.