Seniors Working to Avoid Prescription Drug Abuse

Seniors often take pills to help fight various medical conditions, but sometimes those pills can fall into the wrong hands.

"A lot of times many of them are on some pretty heavy duty painkillers and they're subject to theft and often times by friends and family," Commission on Aging Volunteer Coordinator Eileen Godek said.

That is why the Commission on Aging in Otsego County is holding workshops to make sure older adults know the risks involved with their prescriptions.

"We want to make sure that our older adults are safe that they have good information. Information is power and with that they know what to do to guard against these kinds of things," Godek explained.

The Otsego County Sheriff's Department is also getting involved with this initiative.

They have a disposal area in their building where anyone can drop off their old medications. Each year around 50 pounds of pills are recycled at this location.

"Get rid of them properly so the temptations not there for someone to take them first of all. Its not going into the groundwater, things like that and you can have the peace of mind that you know that these are to be disposed of in a proper way," Otsego County Undersheriff Matt Nowicki said.

The Undersheriff says that prescription drug abuse has been a ongoing problem in the last decade, but in most cases it is overshadowed by street drugs.

"One of the things your hearing about is heroin and methamphetamine, things like that. So it's almost as if the prescription medication abuse is taking the backseat. I'm certain it's still happening in and we certainly need to be aware of that," Undersheriff Nowicki said.

The Otsego County Commission on Aging is hosting a prescription drug safety presentation tomorrow. The Sheriff's Department will be on hand collecting unwanted prescription drugs. It begins at 10:00 am tomorrow at the Alten Zimmer apartments in Gaylord.