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October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

At one point or another, we’ve all used prescription drugs or over-the- counter (OTC) medicines to alleviate an illness – whether it’s to relieve pain or curb a cough. Unfortunately, too many young people and adults are abusing these drugs for a quick high.

Nationally, prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana, with one in five young adults reporting that they have abused a prescription drug. In addition, the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey found that 5 percent of teens have abused over-the-counter cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year. When abused in extreme excess—sometimes as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended dose— dextromethorphan can produce dangerous side effects, especially when combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs.

“Although, prescription & OTC medicine abuse affect less than 1% of the student population in our County, it is nonetheless a serious problem. To that end, our coalitions continue to work to reduce, and prevent medicine abuse by teens and adults through education, community engagement, and local policy changes,” said Bruce Kelly, coalition coordinator for Putnam Communities That Care Coalition.

Please visit Putnam CTC’s Facebook page and the following website http://stopmedicineabuse.org for more information.

Also please take advantage of the seven MedReturn boxes that are located throughout Putnam County to dispose of unused medications. The boxes are in the following locations: Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Carmel, Carmel Police Department, Mahopac, Kent Police Department, Kent, Patterson Town Hall, Patterson, Putnam Valley Town Hall, Putnam Valley, Philipstown Town Hall, Cold Spring and the Kern Building, Brewster. We will also be holding a Medication Take Back Day on Saturday October 28, 2017 at the Putnam Hospital Center from 9am to 2pm.


The Putnam Communities That Care Coalition is an anti-drug coalition that works to build a safe and healthy family-oriented community, which includes reducing the use of harmful substances by our adolescents. It is composed of individuals from all sectors of the community who work together to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors through education, enforcement and policy initiatives.

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