The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) is providing 500 lock-boxes to Oklahomans at no cost as part of an effort to prevent home medication theft. OBN purchased the lock-boxes using Federal Grant money set aside for states to address the prescription drug abuse and fraud epidemic across the country. OBN is partnering with the Department of Human Services’ Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) program to make the boxes available to elderly Oklahoman.
OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward says the elderly population was selected to receive the boxes because they are a uniquely “at-risk” population. “Many elderly Oklahoman are on fixed income and unable to afford to buy a lock-box on their own. They frequently have small children and teens living in or visiting their home. Plus, the elderly often have controlled prescription drugs in the home that can be targeted by relatives or friends with a drug addiction.”
OBN says it is critical for all Oklahomans to safeguard their home medication. According to Woodward, 80% of all drug-related overdose deaths in Oklahoma are linked to prescription drugs. Often, these drugs are stolen from home medicine cabinets of a friend or relative.
Lock boxes are available for residents must be 55 years and older and raising grandchildren OR 60 and older if no youth are living the in the home. For more information about the OBN lock-box distribution program, contact the Area Agencies on Aging toll-free number at 1-800-211-2116.