Oklahoma authorities say lock up your medications before holiday gatherings

Narcotics agents are warning families to hide their prescription medications during Thanksgiving.

Authorities explained to FOX23 that holiday gatherings can be a time when addicts take advantage of you while you’re not looking. They advise to hide and lock up your medications so people in your home don’t take them.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesperson Mark Woodward said prescription theft happens all too often.

“People are overdosing from narcotics and the number one place they admit they got the drug is from somebody that they knew, sometimes while they were not paying attention,” said Woodward. “It’s concerning because you cannot always tell someone has an opioid addiction. They come from all walks of life and so we kind of let our guard down.”

FOX23′s John Asebes spoke with a woman who said her son overdosed while taking an opioid that wasn’t his, but he had no problem getting.

“He had an overdose on his friend’s mother’s morphine,” said the woman.

Woodward said that’s exactly the kind of thing that can happen over the holidays when you have guests over.

“Oftentimes it is a parent’s own teenager’s friends, it is a neighbor, their brother-in-law or sister-in-law, the last person they expect to go through their medicine cabinet when they come over and visit,” said Woodward. “They are using that to feed their addiction or trade it and sell it to get the drug of their choice.”

Woodward said this doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person, but someone who is struggling. He said hide your pill bottles and make sure everything is put away.

Authorities said if you have medicine you don’t use, there are more than 184 drug boxes where you can get rid of pills safely, including at local police departments. You can dispose of them there rather than running the risk of family members digging through your cabinet.

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