Governor Lamont and Connecticut State Officials Raise Awareness Of Safe Storage Of Medicines And Other Substances
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that the State of Connecticut is launching a campaign to raise public awareness of the safe storage of medicines and other potentially harmful substances. The initiative is part of a wider effort to protect children and families in Connecticut.
Connecticut’s Commissioner for Children and Families Vannessa Dorantes in a recent public notice stressed the importance of keeping prescription drugs, legal and illegal substances safe and out of reach to keep children, loved ones, visitors and pets safe .
“It only takes a moment for a toddler to accidentally swallow something that has been left within their reach, and it can happen to anyone.” Governor Lamont said. “Despite our best efforts to follow safe storage guidelines, it is always important to be prepared for an emergency. Keep the Connecticut Poison Control Center number – 1-800-222-1222 – in your phone can mean the difference between life and death. “
Some tips for storing medicines and substances that can be harmful if ingested include:
- Lock all prescriptions and substances that are only used by adults in a closet, safe or private drawer
- Keep medication out of the reach of children
- Keep adult prescriptions and substances in their original containers
- Bring unwanted, unused, or expired medication to a collection point
All adults must be aware of their environment when consuming legal or illegal substances. Safe storage is required by Connecticut laws and regulations, which include penalties for improper storage.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that substances – legal or illegal – are kept away from our children’s little hands.” Commissioner Dorantes said. “We must make it clear in our message that what is intended for adults can lead to serious injury or even death in a young child. It is our shared responsibility to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable in our communities. Get the word out before it’s too late for someone you know. “
“Safekeeping can help parents and caregivers protect their children from accidental overdoses.” Acting commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Nancy Navarretta said. “Make sure you choose a safe and inaccessible place for children and others for whom a drug is not intended. Encourage family members, houseguests, and other visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that contain medication or drugs out of sight and reach when they are at your home. “
“The dangers of COVID-19 have been on everyone’s lips for the past 16 months.” Acting Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “The Connecticut Department of Health, along with Governor Lamont and our other state agencies, reminds us of these simple, but critical, safekeeping tips. This important campaign for the safe storage of medicines and substances will save the lives of our loved ones, family members, neighbors and our children. “
“Safe storage also includes the safe and proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs”, Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said:. “The state operates 106 prescription drug dispensing boxes in cities across Connecticut, where people can safely and anonymously dispose of unwanted prescriptions. More than 268,000 pounds of medication have been dumped properly since 2012. “
“This is a perfect opportunity to remind our residents that every Connecticut state police force has a convenient mailbox for safely disposing of unwanted medicines.” James Rovella, Connecticut’s commissioner for Emergency Services and Public Protection, said. “Many local police departments also have mailboxes. We encourage everyone to take advantage of them. We’d also like to remind everyone that we’re teaming up with the DEA for their National Drug Take Back Day in October. “
“These are tough times for everyone, especially parents and caregivers who may be exhausted juggling the demands related to the pandemic.” Connecticut child advocate Sarah Eagan said:. “We know keeping children safe and healthy is a full-time job. We want to make sure carers remember to take steps to prevent children from ingesting harmful substances, which are often found in pockets, drawers and closets right in their own home. It is particularly important to keep substances that can look like candy or gummy bears away from young children, as dangerous ingestion can occur immediately. “
For a list of all of Connecticut’s prescription drug dispensaries, visit www.ct.gov/dropbox.
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