Amarillo ISD is fighting back against a growing national trend.
When in doubt, clean it out. AISD school officials want parents to remember that when they store their medications.
"One thing that is very important is for families to look in their own medicine cabinets and clean things out and lock [those prescription drugs] away from their middle and high school students," said Melynn Huntley, AISD Safe Schools/Healthy Students Director.
Officials from AISD's drug program recently mailed out flyers with information specifically targeted at preventing prescription drug abuse in those parents' homes.
Those flyers gave the following tips from the Texas Panhandle Poison Center:
- Place any solid medications in a gallon zip-lock baggie
- Crush and/or dissolve them in water
- Add kitty liter, coffee grounds, or a solid kitchen substance (like flour) to the mixture
- Seal the baggie
- Toss it in the trash or take directly to your dumpster
- Liquid medications can be added to the water and kitty littler, then sealed in the bag
- For added safety, the entire baggie can be placed in a sealable container such as a small bucket with a lid or an old coffee can.
- Protect our water supply; please do not flush medications
"You don't think you have to keep that locked up in a medicine cabinet, and you didn't used to have to, but it someone is determined to get high, they are going to get high," said Corp. Carla Burr, AISD Liaison Officer.
The school district's annual survey of middle and high schoolers showed a drop a prescription drug use over the Christmas break, but officials tell NewsChannel 10 that number usually makes a big jump in Spring and Summer.
"National figures show us this is where we need to be looking," said Huntley. "Even though our numbers show that they dropped in January, we know that we need to be on our toes because the national trend in this particular category is going up."
Posters and flyers were also handed out at local pharmacies to try and get the word out to parents.
"We need to educate the public and take action when we see it," said Burr. "Parents need to be responsible and if they have those drugs used to get high, they need to lock them up."