Chris Manning1

ATLANTA — Too often the message people get about prescription (Rx) drugs is that if a doctor prescribed it, it is a harmless drug that won’t negatively impact their family or public health. However, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS 2012), in 2011 approximately 21% of high school students reported having access to and had taken a prescription drug at some point in their lives without it being prescribed for them. Did you know that in 2009 the CDC reported that over 80% of emergency department visits among children under the age of 12 are due to unsupervised children accessing and taking medications on their own? Additionally, in 2013 79% of calls to the Georgia Poison Center were about prescribed medications. These statistics scream, “We have an accessibility issue!”

The Council on Alcohol and Drugs  (The Council) has a simple and affordable solution for the problem of accessibility; safe storage and secure disposal. These are the easiest ways to protect your family. The Council runs a multi-year family and community-focused Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative. The Initiative’s sole focus is to prevent Rx drug abuse in the state of Georgia by educating Georgians about consequences related to improper use, and the need for safe storage and secure disposal of Rx and over the counter (OTC) medications.

There are many in-home safe storage options that are available and affordable. To learn about how to safely store Rx drugs and purchase a safe storage box for your home please visit

As for secure disposal, Georgia is leading the country in law enforcement-maintained drug drop boxes that allow year round disposal. Georgia citizens can locate their closest drug drop box location by visiting

Let’s band together to save lives by safely storing and securely disposing of all unused and expired Rx and OTC drugs!

For additional information or questions concerning safe storage and secure disposal, please contact John Bringuel, MA, ICPS, at (404) 223-2484 or email Mr. Bringuel at [email protected]

For more information, contact:
John Bringuel, MA, ICPS
Statewide Project Director
Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs