Substance Abuse Safety

Kye Nordfelt, MPA Analyst and SMART Coalition Coordinator for Utah County Division of Substance Abuse, shares ways to keep your family safe.

Prevention is the best measure when it comes to misuse and abuse of medications and prescription drugs. To ensure your family’s safety, it’s a good idea to keep over-the-counter medication and prescriptions drugs in a cabinet fitted with child safety locks. Another option is to install an APX alarm sensor that immediately alerts you if any protected cabinet is opened. The APX alarm system gives you peace of mind knowing you will be alerted and informed.

Why is it important to keep your cabinets secure?

• Utah has one of the highest pain pill abuse rates in the nation

• Youth abuse prescription drugs at higher rates than any other drug (except alcohol)

• Pain pill availability (in homes) is one of the leading factors causing this rise in abuse

• 70% of youth abusing pain pills say they get them from friends or relatives

What parents can do

To protect their youth parents need to understand how to safely use, store, and dispose of prescription drugs – especially pain pills. Parents can follow the MED method:

Mix medications with something gross:

1) Take Pills out of original containers
and place in resalable bag

2) Crush pills

3) Mix pills with cat litter, dirt, used cooking
oil, coffee grounds, etc., and toss the
substance in your outdoor trash.

Extra pills need to be locked up to control access

Drop meds off at a permanent disposal location at a police department near you

April is Clean out the Cabinet month. The Utah County Substance Misuse and Abuse Reduction Team (SMART) want to encourage all residents to properly dispose of old or unused medications so they cannot be misused. Over 70 percent of teens who abuse pain medication say they got their pills from a friend or relative. NEVER flush medications down the drain. For take back events or ideas for proper disposal, please see

An APX alarm system can provide another layer of protection for your family. To find out more about the system contact:

Protecting Families |

4931 N. 300 W. Provo, UT 84604

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