Residents of Citrus Heights, CA, can rest easy this year knowing their children are protected from the risks of accidental poisoning or opioid misuse thanks to an innovative new program offered by the city.
The City of Citrus Heights is giving away free Safer Lock combination locking bottles and caps parents who want to safely secure powerful prescription medications at home.
The Dangers of Prescription Medications
Every year, over 60,000 children end up in the ER because of accidental medication poisoning.
A recent study found that 70% of prescription opioid medications kept in homes with children aren’t stored safely. These same researchers found that only 13% of parents worry about their children accessing their medication, many believing (incorrectly) that the child-proof bottle provided with their medications provides “safe storage.”
The best way to protect toddlers and young children from accidental prescription poisoning is to keep medications locked.
Locking medication storage doesn’t just protect young children from poisoning, either. It can protect teens from addiction, too.
Each year, thousands of teens start down the road to addiction and overdose by “experimenting” with powerful pain pills prescribed for other family members.
Citrus Heights Protects Parents with Free Safer Locks
To stop accidental poisonings and medication misuse before it starts, Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost secured a grant from the county for an innovative trial program for Citrus Heights, California residents.
Citrus Heights, an established community of 90,000, is located in the heart of California’s capital region. The trial program will provide 1,000 Safer Lock prescription bottles with locking caps to Citrus Heights parents, allowing them to secure medications in a simple but powerful locking prescription bottle that can be opened only by those who know the unique four-digit combination code.
WellSpace Health, an integrated medical health and mental health services provider with clinics in the Sacramento region, is joining the effort to distribute Safer Lock bottles in Citrus Heights.
Dr. Janine Bera, Chief Medical Officer for WellSpace Health notes that, “Sadly, by now we probably all have a friend or family member whose trouble with drug addiction began by pilfering a few pills from the medicine bottle of a parent or neighbor. Who’s going to miss just a few? Safer Lock is an easy and convenient way keep these medications available for use as they were intended while at the same time, preventing them from being used inappropriately.”
Parents from Citrus Heights can pick up a free Safer Lock bottle, while supplies last, from the WellSpace San Juan Health Center at 5959 Greenback Lane, Suite 500, or from the Citrus Heights City Hall or the Police Department, located on Fountain Square Drive. The City will offer more pick-up locations by late December.
Citrus Heights City Councilman Bret Daniels, who led the effort to provide Safer Locks to city residents, commended this groundbreaking approach to prevention; “Citrus Heights is proud to be the first city in America to distribute Safer Locks to our residents. We encourage other communities to join forces with us to keep deadly medications out of the hands of toddlers and teens. Large-scale prevention efforts will benefit entire communities.”
How Safer Lock Protects Families
Safer Lock is a patented 4-digit combination locking cap that is sold with a compatible Safer Lock bottle. The combination locking cap also fits many existing pharmaceutical bottles used in pharmacies today.
Patients create and set their personal 4-digit combination from 10,000 possibilities. Once locked, Safer Lock will only open when set to the correct combination, which keeps non-patients from accessing medication without detection. Safer Lock of Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc. is headquartered in Sacramento, California.
Safer Lock provides a better alternative to child-resistant (aka “child-proof) pharmaceutical bottles, which can be easily opened by kids as young as two or three. It also provides a safer storage solution than pill containers. And the combination cap provides a strong deterrent to teens who may be tempted to try just one or two of mom or dad’s opioid painkillers.
Citrus Heights is making the safety of their residents a top priority by addressing one of the major contributing factors to the opioid epidemic: easy access to powerful prescription drugs.