Prescription Drug Abuse
Last year, friends of mine lost their 19 year old son to a prescription drug overdose. It was noted that he was active in his youth group at church and that he was about to begin military service. It was a terrible loss that alerted many to the dangers of this particular type of drug use.
Our ministries have the opportunity to interact with young people in an environment in which they might be willing to hear an important message. Think the kids at your parish aren't exposed to these temptations? Neither did the youth group mentioned above.
We can bring a spiritual awareness to these discussions that is often avoided in schools and other settings. The church should be sure our children have age appropriate, accurate information about their sexuality, drugs, and other temptations in a setting that reinforces their values, yet also respects their (very normal) human desires to fit in, to test their limits and to learn who they are. You can be sure that others are having these conversations with them, albeit without their best interests in mind.
An Opportunity for Intergenerational Ministry
Faith community nurses have an opportunity to educate older adults in the parish about securing their medications, knowing the medication they take and why, and communicating with their doctor about medication prescribed by specialists or mental health professionals that may not necessarily be communicated back to the primary care physician.
In addition, conversations can be held with parents about the risks of prescription drug abuse for teens, the warning signs and ways to talk with teens about these dangers. Public or private conversations can then be moderated, with a goal of educating all involved and ensuring everyone has not only an understanding of the physical risks, but the spiritual risks and potential impact on loved ones as well.
Two upcoming opportunities for awareness:
- National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day October 26, 2013
- 4th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge National Day of Awareness: November 9, 2013
2. Talk About Rx:
- Apps for finding the nearest disposal location near you: