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Citrus Heights offering free locks for prescription pills to help curb misuse

Safer Lock prescription meds
Safer Lock box and combo-lock cap for prescription meds. // Credit: Safer Lock

Sentinel staff report–
In an effort to reduce the chances of prescription pills being misused or getting into the hands of children, Citrus Heights announced Friday that free pill bottle locks are now available for pickup at city hall and the police department.

According to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide, about 60,000 children are sent to emergency rooms each year from medicine poisoning, largely from kids accessing the meds while alone. Prescription pill locks, while not indestructible, are designed to help deter abuse, misuse, and theft of prescription meds, the city said in a statement on Friday.

After taking office earlier this year, Councilman Bret Daniels advocated the city look into offering the bottle locks to residents. Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost later was able to secure a $6,000 grant for the city to run a trial program, with the money purchasing 1,000 Safer Lock prescription bottles that feature four-digit combo-locks on the caps.

Matt Hedges, chief of staff for Supervisor Frost, told The Sentinel he’s “optimistic that this grant can save lives, keep kids from entering the cycle of addiction, and hopefully be a model for other communities to emulate.”

While supplies last, locking bottles are available for pickup during normal business hours at city hall, located at 6360 Fountain Square Drive, and the Citrus Heights Police Department at 6315 Fountain Square Drive. The bottles are also available at Well Space Health’s San Juan Community Health Center, located at 5959 Greenback Ln.

According to the city, the effort to offer free Safer Lock pill bottles is the first in the nation.

“We encourage other communities to and join forces with us to keep deadly medications out of the hands of toddlers and teens,” said Councilman Daniels in a news release on Friday. “Large-scale prevention efforts will benefit entire communities.”

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