Health & Safety

March 7, 2014

Drug misuse, abuse: No excuse

Senior Airman Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) – Airmen have a duty to uphold and must be “fit to fight.”

Maintaining that fit lifestyle means routine health checkups, having a proper diet, exercise and sometimes using medications to combat illness and physical ailments. 

While picking up an over-the-counter medication at the local drug store or being prescribed medication by a healthcare provider are common practices for Airmen looking to get or remain healthy, misuse or abuse of any drug can be a serious problem with serious consequences.

“It’s hard to define medication misuse because some people think of it as medication abuse and they’re not the same thing,” said Capt. Arnaldo Figueroa, the 341st Medical Support Squadron officer in charge of pharmacy services. “Medication misuse is anything from not using the medication that has been prescribed by your healthcare provider the way it was instructed to using a medication prescribed to someone else. This is in comparison to medication abuse where there is a behavioral issue and there may even be a psychological or dependency component to it; normally known as substance use disorder. So while misuse and abuse are not the same thing, both are problems.”

The misuse of prescription medications has drastically increased over the last 10 years and has become one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits and sudden death. In 2008, the Office of National Drug Control Policy found that one-third of all new abusers of prescription drugs in 2006 were 12 to 17 years of age. This data underscores the importance of proactively addressing drug misuse to prevent potential abuse, additional cost to healthcare and the burden that it may cause to society and military members. 

“It’s important that unused drugs are being disposed of properly,” Figueroa said. “Leftover medications remaining in cabinets at home could eventually lead to teenagers or children finding them and not knowing or understanding what the repercussions are of taking something that was not prescribed for them and could cause them serious health consequences. That’s why it’s so important.”
Improper drug disposal can also have negative environmental impacts. 

“Proper drug disposal is important in order to keep drugs out of our landfills and water systems,” said police Capt. Bob Armstrong, the Montana Highway Patrol District II. “People just got used to dumping them down toilets and throwing them in the garbage – that’s not the proper way to do it because it effects the environment.”

Additionally drugs improperly disposed of, or not disposed of at all, could fall into the hands of a child, teenager or an individual the drug wasn’t prescribed, to leading to the misuse of the drugs and sometimes adverse consequences.

According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “Any person … who wrongfully uses, possesses, manufactures, distributes, imports into the customs territory of the United States, exports from the United States or introduces into an installation, vehicle or aircraft used by or under the control of the armed forces a (controlled) substance… shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” 

This includes the sharing of prescription medications. While misuse of controlled substances could warrant adverse legal consequences, not disposing of or misusing expired prescribed drugs may result in negative consequences as well.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Think before you act: Only takes a second for actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure you have or you wouldn’t be human. However, in today’s society some of these behaviors never go away, even if...
 
 

Comprehensive Airman Fitness: A Lifestyle and culture

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. The new AFI...
 
 

15 seconds: A rude awakening

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — Gut-wrenching screams, the shattering of glass, and the unforgettable sounds of metal twisting and bending all around me as my truck rolls over and over again. I thought those were going to be my last memories. April 12, 2012, started out like any other Thursday for me....
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Davis-Monthan gets mentally fit to fight

The 355th Fighter Wing participated in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Day, Aug. 11. CAF is a lifestyle taught to strengthen an Airman with four domains: mental, physical, social and spiritual. This quarter’s CAF Day focuses...
 
 

Academy introduces computer network security major

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) — Even as the U.S. Air Force Academy has reduced the number of majors it offers recently, it has instituted a new program aimed at helping the Air Force fly, fight and win in cyberspace. The computer network security major touches on topics designed to help cadets understand what...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Raughton)

HPV vaccine provides important safeguards

BETHESDA, Md. – Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. It can lead to cervical and anal cancer — which, combined, account for more than 250,000 deaths worldwide each yea...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin