Posts Tagged ‘Substance abuse’

Do you have leftover medications in your medicine cabinet? Are you saving that medication in case you contract the same illness in the future? Well, that is NOT OK! Did you know that EVERYDAY 5,700 Americans misuse a prescription drug for the first time. Nearly 51% of those who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from family or friends.

white backgournd with yellow and red capsules and blue tablets of medications

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that between 6 and 7 million Americans , age 12 and older, have misused a prescription pain killer (such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin), sedative ( Valium, Xanax) or stimulant ( Ritalin, Adderall) in the past month.

Every year, approximately 60,000 emergency department visits and 450,000 calls to poison centers are made after kids under 6 years of age find and ingest medication accidentally. Below is a case summary from the FDA to show how some medications can result in death if they are accidentally taken by children.

  • A 2 year old boy was found lethargic by his mother with her methadone bottle open and 20 pills missing. She then put the child down for a nap and could not wake him 5 hours later. The child arrived to the emergency department (ED) in cardiac arrest, pupils were fixed and dilated.  A heart ultrasound showed no cardiac activity after 30 minutes of resuscitation, and the boy was declared dead. The cause of death: methadone toxicity.

This video demonstrates how to safely dispose of unused medications.

Please take time to check your medications and safely dispose of any medication you no longer need, you could be saving a life of a friend or family member.




Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County

Reviewed by: Shannon Smith, RD, LD, CDCES, Program Coordinator, Wood County

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As an adult child of alcoholic parents, I know first-hand the effects of alcoholism. Yes, it was tragic at times, heart wrenching, sad, and troubling. But…. I also knew that my parents had a disease and that they loved me in spite of their addictions. One of the positive effects for me was that I learned to be independent and self-sufficient. I also learned the value of hard work and perseverance. I always knew that I wanted to go to college and I became the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college. Even though both of my parents passed away in their 50s, they worked on their recovery, starting the first Alcoholics Anonymous group in Pike County. I share a bit of my story with the hopes that you will become more aware of the dangers of drinking too much.

Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, I encourage you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

Did you know?

  • An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Are you concerned about binge drinking? Check out this Chow Line article from Ohio State University.

Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  • Don’t drink when you are upset.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  • Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  • Make a list of reasons not to drink.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention has an alcohol portal with sections devoted to:

If you want more information about these topics, visit the CDC website. 

Remember, if you are concerned about someone’s drinking, there are ways to offer help. Check out these websites for additional information and treatment suggestions:

National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholics Anonymous

Substance Abuse and Mental Health


Turner, T., and Hatsu, I. Binge drinking: How much is too much? Available https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/chow-line-binge-drinking-%E2%80%94-how-much-is-too-much





Written by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

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