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Did you know that one third of people aged 12 and older who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons? Did you also know that over 70 percent of all people who misused prescription drugs got them from friends or relatives? These statistics come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the website.

So WHAT CAN WE DO within our own homes to significantly reduce the risk of theft of our own prescription medications from someone who either lives with us or visits with us either frequently or infrequently? Remember: it could be ANYONE who enters your home.

First and foremost: REMOVE ALL MEDICATIONS FROM YOUR BATHROOM. We know that bathroom doors are closed and locked when in use, and we can’t see the theft of our medications taking place.

Secondly, LOCK AND SECURE YOUR MEDICATIONS in an area away from the bathroom. The ideal situation is to install a LOCKBOX that can be secured with 2 screws in the bottom of a drawer or one that can mount to a wall or floor. Walgreens and many locksmith companies sell good lockboxes for a relatively low cost. These lockboxes generally cost between $25 to $32 dollars and come with either key entry only or key and code entry.

Police Departments in this region are working with the NASHUA PREVENTION COALITION to introduce the concept of securing medication lockboxes so that we can all rest assured that our prescription medications are for our use ONLY . Work is currently being done requesting managers of Senior Housing Developments to schedule their maintenance crews to help install these lockboxes. If you live alone in your home and you need a lockbox installed, the FIXIT Program may have a retired handyman volunteer to assist you. The Nashua Prevention Coalition and your local Police Department may also be able to assist in finding someone to help install your lockbox.

Drug abuse is so prevalent in society that we must DO EVERYTHING WE CAN to keep our children, our families, our classmates, our neighbors, our friends, and everyone else we know SAFE AND SECURE from substance abuse and the criminal elements. Remember that those who are genuinely prescribed these medications by their physicians NEED IT FOR THEIR OWN HEALING.

It is such a small price to pay for peace of mind and one step closer to a safer society. >.

From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
Senior Relations Division
Nashua Police Department

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