Hickory – Catawba County Public Health has partnered with North Carolina’s Lock Your Meds awareness campaign and has begun distributing materials urging residents to lock up medications to prevent people from accessing medications that aren’t prescribed to them.

This campaign is in direct response to the current opioid epidemic. Its objective is to raise awareness about the importance of assessing, disposing and securing prescribed medications properly to reduce access to them in the home. Public Health is asking parents, grandparents and other caregivers to initiate conversations with children and teens about using only medications that are prescribed to them, and are asking residents to be diligent about securing medications in the home.

Catawba County Public Health is working with community groups and organizations, such as the Catawba County library system and the county’s middle and high schools to distribute educational materials, and has a limited number of boxes residents can use to lock up medications. To find out if you can receive a lock box for free, contact Emily Killian at (828) 695-6637 or email ekillian@catawbacounty.gov. Boxes will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to families with teens or children in the home, to grandparents, and to people who would like to secure prescription medications, especially opioids. Educational materials are also available for distribution to community organizations.

The Lock Your Meds campaign is brought to Catawba County through the generous support of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Opioid STR/Cures (Grant#1H79TI080257) and SPF-RX (Grant # 1U79SP022087).

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives.

For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.