The PATH Foundation awarded a $13,000 “Make it Happen!” Grant to Fauquier Community Alliance for Drug Rehabilitation and Education (CADRE) to combat prescription drug abuse in Fauquier and Northern Culpeper counties.
CADRE will partner with several local individuals and organizations to distribute educational materials and locking medicine pouches.
The effort comes in the wake of the 2015 Pride Survey of Fauquier County Public School high school and middle school students, which found that 175 students abused prescription drugs within the last 30 days.
“After seeing the results of the Pride Survey, we were compelled to support this cause,” said Christy Connolly, president of the PATH Foundation. “It is a major cause of concern for our community, so educating families on the proper storage of prescription drugs is vital.”
Capt. Ray Acors of the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office said that abuse of prescription medication can act as a gateway to more serious drug use.
“Ultimately, most of the people we interview who are addicted to drugs started with medicine in people’s cabinets,” said Acors. “Lock Your Meds is huge… if there’s medication, even if it’s in a purse, the pouches make it harder to get [those medications].”
Lock Your Meds helps families learn to prevent prescription drug abuse — and potentially further drug use — by encouraging the practice of safekeeping measures, such as secure storage and proper disposal of medication.
“With ways for us to both educate students and to reach parents and grandparents, the Lock Your Meds campaign equips us with the tools we need to educate the community about the severity of drug abuse,” said Kathleen Weghorst, CADRE’s executive director and prevention specialist
CADRE has distributed locking pouches to Fauquier County Public School guidance counselors, Piedmont Pediatrics, Piedmont Family Practice and the Fauquier Free Clinic, along with Remington Drug, Department of Juvenile Justice and other nonprofit organizations.
The Fauquier Sheriff’s Office also provides a safe disposal box in its lobby, specifically for prescription medication.