Governor Lamont and Connecticut State Officials Raise Awareness on Safe Storage of Drugs and Other Substances
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the state of Connecticut is launching a campaign to educate the public about the safe storage of drugs and other potentially harmful substances. The initiative is part of a larger effort to protect Connecticut’s children and families.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes appears in a newly published public service announcement emphasizing the importance of keeping prescription drugs, as well as legal and illegal substances, safe and out of reach to help keep children, relatives, visitors and pets safe.
“It only takes a moment for a toddler to accidentally ingest something that has been left within reach, and it can happen to anyone.” Governor Lamont said. “Despite our best efforts to ensure that we follow safe storage guidelines, it is still important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Keep Connecticut Poison Control Center number – 1-800-222-1222 – in your phone can be the difference between life and death.
Here are some tips for storing medications and substances that can be harmful if swallowed:
- Lock all prescriptions and adults only use substances in a private cabinet, safe or drawer
- Keep medicines out of the reach of children
- Store prescriptions and adult substances in their original containers
- Bring unwanted, unused, or expired medications to a medication collection point
All adults must be attentive to 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 that substances – legal or illegal – are kept away from the little hands of our children” Commissioner Dorantes said. “We need to be clear in our message that what is intended for adult use can result in serious injury or even death in a young child. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Get the word out before it’s too late for someone you know.
“Practicing safe storage can help parents and caregivers protect children from unintentional overdoses” Acting Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Commissioner Nancy Navarretta said. “Make sure you choose a place that is safe and inaccessible to children and others for whom a medicine is not intended. Require family members, guests and other visitors to keep handbags, bags or coats containing medication or drugs out of sight and to be able to reach them when they are in your home.
“The dangers of COVID-19 have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind for the past 16 months,” Acting Connecticut Department of Public Health commissioner Dr Deidre Gifford said. “The Connecticut Department of Public Health joins with Governor Lamont and our other state agencies in reminding everyone of these safe, simple, but essential storage tips. This important campaign on the safe storage of drugs and substances will save the lives of our dearest residents, family members, neighbors and our children.
“The practice of safe storage also includes the safe and proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs.” Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said. “The state operates 106 prescription drug drop-off boxes in cities in Connecticut, where people can safely and anonymously dispose of unwanted prescriptions. Over 268,000 pounds of drugs have been properly disposed of in drop boxes since 2012. ”
“This is the perfect opportunity to remind our residents that every Connecticut State Police Troop has a convenient drop box for the safe disposal of unwanted drugs.” Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said. “Many local police departments also have drop boxes. We encourage everyone to take advantage of it. We also want to remind everyone that we are teaming up with the DEA for their National Medication Take Back Day in October. “
“These are tough times for everyone, especially for parents and caregivers who may be exhausted from juggling the demands of the pandemic.” Connecticut Children’s Advocate Sarah Eagan said. “We know that keeping children safe and healthy is a full-time job in itself. We want to make sure that caregivers remember to take action to prevent children from ingesting harmful substances, often found in bags, drawers and cupboards right in their homes. It is especially important to keep substances that may look like candy or gummy candy away from young children, as dangerous ingestion can occur in an instant.
A list of every prescription drug drop-off box location in Connecticut can be found online by visiting www.ct.gov/dropbox.