What if your pill bottle showed you the time that it was last opened? Or if it had a code you had to put into the lid to open the bottle? These and other similar technologies are claiming benefits such as increased patient compliance and theft prevention. With a number of teens, especially, stealing small quantities of prescription medication, Illinois lawmakers are aiming to make it more difficult to take another’s drug. The addiction rate for these prescription drugs are increasing and if it becomes a problem and this doesn’t help the residents of Waukegan than a drug rehabilitation Waukegan sure will.
Of course, a pill bottle can always be smashed with a hammer. Codes can be hacked. Still, if 70% of teens say that abused prescription drugs say that they got their supply from the family medicine cabinet, a simple deterrent such as the products linked above, may at least open a family conversation.
Prescription drug use among teens: a growing problem
Although the overall statistics for drug use in 8th to 12th graders, over the past two decades have declined, abuse of prescription drugs have grown. Prescription drugs remain too easily obtained. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 7.5% of U.S. school children between the ages of 6 and 17 were taking medication for “emotional or behavioral difficulties” in 2011-2012. That’s not including as many as 10,000 toddlers that the CDC reported may be taking psychostimulant medication (like Ritalin). With so many young people in America prescribed medications, the supply is available, even just from their peers, for teens with a drug problem.
The cost of locked pill bottles
Pharmacies balked at the $3-5 cost per bottle of locking pill bottles. Though doctors would be able to prescribe an exception, it is unknown what the overall cost of locking pill bottles in Waukegan would be, or where the funding would come from. Still, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that substance abuse in the United States costs $700 billion annually in crime, lost work productivity and healthcare expenses. Both are costs to consider, as well as the actual cost to consumers (in adjusted pharmacy prices) or to tax payers (in healthcare costs). Funding a substance addiction Waukegan center is much cheaper than the cost of annual crime in the state of Illinois.
A better pill bottle
Given the overall costs, it might be worth investing in a better pill bottle. There might not be a metal, recyclable, fingerprint with a code, self-locking, self-expired-pill- destroying bottle on the market yet. As technology expands, perhaps such a thing will be available. In the meantime, locked pill bottles and a drug rehab in Waukegan will likely do little to curb drug abuse in Waukegan.