Governor Lamont and Connecticut State Officials Raise Awareness for Safe Storage of Medications and Other Substances
HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont announced that the State of Connecticut is launching a campaign to bolster public awareness about safe storage of medications and other substances that could potentially be harmful. The initiative is part of a broader effort to protect children and families in Connecticut.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes appears in a newly released public service announcement stressing the importance of keeping prescription medications, as well as legal and illegal substances, secured and out of reach to help keep children, loved ones, visitors, and pets safe.
“It only takes a moment for a toddler to accidentally ingest something that was left within their reach, and it can happen to anyone,” Governor Lamont said. “Despite our best efforts to be mindful to follow safe storage guidelines, it is always important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Keeping the number for the Connecticut Poison Control Center – 1-800-222-1222 – in your phone can mean the difference between life and death.”
Some tips for storing medications and substances that may be harmful if ingested include:
- Lock all prescriptions and adult use only substances in a cabinet, safe, or private drawer
- Keep medications stored out of the reach of children
- Store prescriptions and adult use substances in their original containers
- Bring unwanted, unused, or expired medications to a drug takeback location
All adults must be mindful of their environment when using legal or illegal substances. Safe storage is mandated by Connecticut law and regulations which include penalties for improper storage.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure substances – legal or illegal – are kept away from the little hands of our children,” Commissioner Dorantes said. “We must be clear in our message that what is intended for adult use, can lead to serious injury or even a fatality in a young child. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of those most vulnerable in our communities. Spread the word before it’s too late for someone you know.”
“Practicing safe storage can help parents and caregivers keep children safe from unintentional overdoses,” Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Acting Commissioner Nancy Navarretta said. “Be sure to choose a spot which is secure and inaccessible to children and others for whom a drug is not intended. Require family members, houseguests, and other visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicine or drugs in them out of sight and reach when they are in your home.”
“The dangers of COVID-19 have been on the forefront of everyone’s mind for the past 16 months,” Connecticut Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “The Connecticut Department of Public Health joins Governor Lamont and our fellow state agencies in reminding everyone of these simple but critical safe storage tips. This important campaign on the safe storage of medications and substances will save the lives of our most cherished residents, family members, neighbors and our children.”
“Practicing safe storage also includes safe and proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription medications,” Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said. “The state operates 106 prescription drug drop boxes in towns and cities across Connecticut where people can safely and anonymously dispose of unwanted prescriptions. More than 268,000 pounds of medications have been properly disposed of through the drop boxes since 2012.”
“This is a perfect opportunity to remind our residents that every Connecticut State Police Troop has a convenient drop box for the safe disposal of unwanted medications,” Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said. “Many local police departments have drop boxes as well. We encourage everyone to take advantage of these. We also want to remind everyone that we are teaming up with the DEA for their National Drug Take Back Day coming up in October.”
“These are difficult times for everyone, especially for parents and caregivers who may be exhausted from juggling the demands related to the pandemic,” Connecticut Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said. “We know that keeping kids safe and healthy is a full-time job by itself. We want to make sure that caregivers remember to take steps to prevent children from ingesting harmful substances, often found in bags, drawers, and cabinets right in their own homes. Keeping substances that may look like candy or gummies away from young children is particularly important, as dangerous ingestion can happen in an instant.”
A list of every prescription drug drop box location in Connecticut can be found online by visiting www.ct.gov/dropbox.