Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog


I've been on a kick to "Tidy" - the principal of it is to organize your home by category.   
Please make one category every single medication, vitamin, supplement, diet pills, OTC medications.   

Having been on the front line of this horrific drug epidemic that has taken the lives of people I know and left behind even more grieving I know.  I can't emphasize enough to remove any 'extra' drugs that you don't need or are not prescribed to you.  This is not just a teen problem -adults steal medications too!!

Over the last 10 years I have heard the 'how it started' stories from addicts.   Your own medicine supply is often their first trial.   In too many cases it was 'they gave me some to help with sprain, cramps, headaches, or an injury.'  It was already in the house.   It was convenient.  It saved money.   
I have also heard stories from addicts who visited relatives and friends with household members with known injuries, cancer, pain management or mental illness treatment medications that they knew were accessible - openly displayed on counters, cabinets, tabletops, and of course medicine cabinets.   They would purposefully watch for peers with sports injuries and visit them at home - knowing there were medications available.   They would listen to reports of dental surgeries.  They would listen to shares at lunch about taking care of loved ones in their homes for chronic illnesses, pain and anxiety.  They would know who in their family had cancer and know that those homes had significant supplies of medications.  They didn't just look for pain management medications but also those that help with depression, anxiety, weight loss, attention-deficit, bi-polar, and insomnia.    They know what the specific pills look like.  
Know that its not just pain management pills they're interested in. 

Know that its easier for them to take another person's medication 'secretly' than deal with the stigma, exposure and cost of revealing the challenges of anxiety, depression, not being able to concentrate, sleep or lose weight.  

Your own supply can solve their problem and start a whole new one.  

When a psychopharmacology is done wrong it can complicate how professionals manage it effectively.  If these medications are combined with the wrong medications there can be dangerous reactions.  
When we just give what's available to 'fix' it we send the message that its not important to have a professional evaluate the real issue.  It ignores that the real problem may be treated differently that just giving it a pill.  

The other time when there needs to be a MEDICATION CLEANSE is after a person passes away within a household.  Hospice workers usually take over this responsibility but other times they aren't present and the person's medications remain in that home for years - available to another person to abuse and begin an addiction.     It rarely starts in a purposeful way.  But in the wrong hands, taken by the wrong method (crushed/snorted/smoked) or taken too often, too high dose or too many at the same time ('more is better' is addict thinking).   Drug abuse is when you are using a drug that isn't yours, not in the prescribed amount, and wanting it to do something it isn't designed to do - 'getting high' 'escaping' is not proper use of medications. 

Also review and toss or give back the ancient stuff  - remove any pills that are expired -as they probably lost effectiveness anyway.  It also reduces chances of being combined with other medications or supplements that may have allergic reactions.

TODAY, ANNUALLY - APRIL 28th - is DRUG TAKE BACK DAY - but you can usually drop them off at local police stations, Sheriff offices and Pharmacies.    

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