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YSUP Rowan launches month-long drug use prevention campaign

SALISBURY — Youth Substance Use Prevention of Rowan County has launched a monthlong campaign aimed at curbing youth exposure to drugs.

Safe@Home is an engagement campaign pushing out a mix of event, services and information aimed at helping people keep their medication secured at home and safely disposing of old medication. The campaign is encouraging folks to lock up medications, secure alcohol and dispose of old medication to prevent children from getting ahold of those items.

As part of the campaign, YSUP hosted a drive-thru medication take back and offers medication dropboxes, parent workshops and community engagement through pharmacies and the Rowan County Farmers Market. The organization has also started a digital media campaign.

During the drive-thru take-back event, YSUP collected 108 pounds of old medication in exchange for free hot dogs and ice cream, complements of The Hot Dog Shack and Salisbury Police Department. The program has distributed more than 150 lockboxes in the community as well.

“We’re trying to get the tools out there for people but also help them understand the importance of this,” Project Director Lauren Alexander-Persse said.

The campaign is rolling out on social media with videos featuring local officials talking about substance abuse issues.

In her video, Ashley Creek, a peer support specialist with the Rowan County Post Overdose Response Team, discussed household prescription use that can lead to drug addiction. Creek said 86% of intravenous drug users took opioid pain medications before trying heroin.

Alexander-Persse said most young people will go where they have access to experiment with drugs like home medicine cabinets or through friends.

“I think most people, myself included, don’t generally consider locking up medications and those just being easily accessible,” Alexander-Persse said.

Alexander-Persse said the goal is to prevent abuse at its beginning stages. YSUP is pushing out medication lock boxes for free and also offers medication disposal packets. Pouring water and medication into the packet neutralizes it and turns the substances into a gel that can be thrown away.

The following is a list of local medication drop boxes:

  • Salisbury Police Department, 130 East Liberty St.
  • Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, 232 North Main Street and 102 North Central Ave. in Landis
  • Rowan County Health Department, 811 East Innes St.
  • Granite Quarry Police Department, 143 Salisbury Ave., Granite Quarry
  • Kannapolis Police Department, 314 South Main St., Kannapolis
  • China Grove Town Hall, 333 North Main St., China Grove
  • Rockwell Police Department, 303 West Main St., Rockwell
  • Spencer Police Department, 600 South Salisbury Ave, Spencer

For more information on the campaign and to sign up for virtual parent workshops visit ysuprowan.org/safe-at-home.

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