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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Alan Boedeker)

AF to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON (AFNS)  — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths ...
 
 

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment available for public review

The revised draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) was released by Air Combat Command here today. The release initiates a 30-day public comment period, which ends October 23.  Substantive public comments submitted by that date will be considered before the Air Force makes any determinations on the proposal.  These comments will...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

AF signs Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staf...
 

 

Information security part of everything we do

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s been one of those days. You are super busy and your unit just received another tasking. You are trying to do five jobs at once and don’t even have time to think. You decide to help your unit deployment manager get the word out and forward an email...
 
 
leadership

When leaders earn their keep

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It’s no secret that a key to being a good leader, military or otherwise, is taking care of your people. I strongly believe Airmen aren’t able to perform at their peak if their ...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Fuels Management team finds a new home

The 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of their new Fuels Management facility and Type III Fuels Hydrant System facility at D-M, Sept. 17. The new facilities are equipp...
 




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