We were pleased to host Teri Collins, Ph.D., the director of the Maine Community Youth Assistance foundation as our speaker last week.

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MCYAF has focused for years on teen health and welfare in our communities, serving the local high schools and campaigning in the area to raise awareness on substance abuse.  Teri is a scientist and an educator, and she knows all too well the effects of alcohol, prescription meds and other drugs on the still developing brain.

The greatest concern right now is the availability and wide mis-use of prescription drugs. In the U.S. there are more fatalities from drug overdoses than from traffic accidents! We've all heard of oxycodone, but medicine cabinets are full of  other painkillers and muscle relaxants, and kids have easy access to them at your house or Grandpa's house. MCYAF has funded a drop box at the Des Plaines Police Station for unneeded medicines - just drop in the pill bottle.

Dr. Collins also made us aware of coming legislation called the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which will allow pharmacists and doctors to see whether a patient has filled multiple prescriptions in different communities and even across state lines. State lawmakers are also looking closely at prescription sales. The more awareness, the better, and we thank Dr. Collins for giving us such an interesting and timely talk.