Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 44 seconds
I recently attended a gala dinner fundraiser for Second Chance, a shop that sells used building materials in Boise, Idaho. It was a fundraiser to support alcohol and drug rehabilitation. They provide safe housing and have no religious affiliation. During the meal, several speakers gave heart wrenching stories of tragedy based upon pharmaceutical drug abuse and addiction.
The Keynote speaker, Ada County Sheriff Garry Rainey, said something to me that sparked my imagination. He asked the audience this rhetorical question, ” Would you leave a loaded handgun in your medicine cabinet?”
The following 24 hours were spent wondering how I could do something to help my clients avoid curious youth or visitors from rummaging through their medications. Naturally, I posed the question to a few of my friends, who replied “Why yes, I would!” If this is your view, this is article is not for you.
The only missing piece of the puzzle to me was where medicine crosses the line to being a drug. We think of pharmaceutical pain relief medications being good, yet they are derivatives of opiates that are illegally imported from all over the world as bad drugs. My belief is that when medicine is used for recreational purposes or to get high, it has crossed the line. I am told that teenagers are experimenting at pill parties with these things. I’m thinking we need to do something quickly because, nothing good can come from this sort of irresponsible behavior.
…the times, they are a changing.
There were sad statistics and lots of big numbers thrown around, in attempt to quantify and get our heads around the magnitude of the problem, but I honestly I find them hard to believe. I get that there is a problem, but I have no faith that the statistics are valid. I do have a friend that was caught doing it and he has since paid his debt to society and has gotten his act together. Addiction is a real problem and those with it will do anything to get what they want. Let’s not make it easy for the honest thieves to get at your medicine. Kids have no need for unrestricted access to pain relief medication.
As an EMS guy, I know all about the drug seeking behavior, and I also know that chronic pain is debilitating. I wondered how folks could return unused medications for credit, There is already a series of drop off locations for unneeded medications, they keep pills out of the sewer system, but the big problem is that it is counter intuitive for folks to drop off pain relief medications that they paid for…what if you have pain again and need a few pills? Do you have to visit the doctor again? Who wants to do that?
I kept returning back to the idea of locking things up in your home with easy access for those that need it and no access for those that don’t.
A gun safe/ medication safe is the best thing I can think of at the moment. It ties in with how we deal with narcotics at the hospital, and they can be installed inconspicuously just about anywhere.
I will be recommending a gun/med safe for all of my remodeling projects in the future. They are available at the big box home improvement stores or just about any sporting goods store. They usually have simple battery operated touch pad access, or more sophisticated biometric touch pad access. My brother Mike who has extensive law enforcement background, works for a company that is selling some really cool security systems for hospitals. They also have developed some high security school locks in the wake of some high profile school shootings. He agrees that for now, the gun safe route is the most economical and that every home should have one.
I started to list homes and situations where the safe idea is especially helpful, but it is an inclusive list. To be honest, I can’t think of a situation where it is not needed.
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