Elements Launches LocktheCabinet.com, Stresses Importance of Locking Up Prescription Medications

Promises Treatment Centers, along with Elements Behavioral Health and The Ranch, is proud to introduce LockTheCabinet.com, a campaign offering tools and information to raise awareness and educate parents and caretakers about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the importance of keeping prescription medications safely locked up and out of the reach of children and teens.

Los Angeles, CA (February 19, 2011) —Promises Treatment Centers, along with Elements Behavioral Health and The Ranch, announced this week the launch of LockTheCabinet.com, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the risks of not properly securing opiates, benzodiazepines, and other addictive medications.

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and not just among adults. According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.9 million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 abused prescription medication, with 1.6 million abusing a prescription painkiller such as Vicodin or OxyContin. Often, parents and other adults are providing these drugs to teens without realizing it. Many teens report stealing prescription medication from the medicine cabinets in their home or friends’ homes.

Many teens believe that taking prescription medications to get high is safer than using illicit drugs because prescription medications are legal and provided by a doctor; however, abusing these drugs can be just as dangerous as using cocaine or heroin. Some people who get hooked on opiate painkillers like OxyContin start abusing heroin if they find it is easier to obtain than the prescription medication.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids (such as Vicodin, Dilaudid, and other narcotic painkillers), central nervous system depressants (such as Xanax, Ativan, and sleeping aids such as Ambien), and stimulants (such as Ritalin, Adderall, and other ADHD medication). All of these drugs can be incredibly dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs, or simply when taken in high doses. Overdose can lead to heart failure, seizures, and death.

“Parents should know that addiction typically begins in the teen years. Teens are naturally curious, and may succumb to peer pressure. In some cases, teens may have undiagnosed behavioral issues that lead them to self-medicate. Ease of access to mood-altering drugs is directly correlated with rates of abuse. As parents, we do not want to make it easy by making these drugs readily available in unlocked medicine cabinets,” said Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers and Elements Behavioral Health.

At LockTheCabinet.com, concerned parents can find information on the dangers and effects of prescription drug abuse, how to properly dispose of unused medication, and how to recognize signs of abuse or addiction.

LocktheCabinet.com’s goal is to encourage parents to commit to locking the medicine cabinet and making it harder for teens to get their hands on powerful narcotics and other addictive drugs. The site includes a Facebook page where parents can choose to follow the campaign, make suggestions or ask questions, and share information with other parents.

Promises Treatment Centers has addiction treatment centers in West Los Angeles and Malibu, California. The Ranch offers treatment for substance abuse, eating disorders, and PTSD on a working ranch outside Nashville, Tennessee. Promises and The Ranch are part of Elements Behavioral Health, which aims to fill the gaps in mental health treatment between inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services; in co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders; and between traditional and alternative settings to help clients that are underweight or overweight due to eating-related and other issues. The goal is for full recovery and well-being with permanent lifestyle improvement and change, and not just symptom reduction. Our focus is not only on the patient, but on the health and support of the family system. For more information about the Lock the Cabinet campaign visit //www.lockthecabinet.com. For information about treatment for addiction call Elements Behavioral Health at 877-351-7506.

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